Futurama

Fan Fiction

Bender After Dark
By Christina Nordlander Dawson

Futurama and all the characters you recognise are the property of Matt Groening. After Dark is the property of Berkeley Systems. “The Flying Toaster Song” is the property of The Rejects.

Caption: THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD
The screen shows the GI Joe episode with the little kitten.

Aerial shot of New New York. Zoom in on the square before the Temple of
Robotology. Cut
to:
Bender walking at the edge of a crowd of robots (just about every one that
has been on the
show), tagging his co-workers along. He is very excited and is holding a
bottle of champagne.

FRY (struggling to keep up): Can you tell us again what this is about,
Bender?
LEELA: I don’t think he’s told us yet, Fry.
BENDER (rather happily): It’s the yearly Feast of Robotology,
commemorating the Soldering of the Circuits of the original Artificial
Intelligence (absent-
mindedly) blessed be its code. It is a very solemn mass in which all
robotkind can join
together in praise and sing “Onward Robot Solders”. Or something. I dunno, I
just come here
for the company and the feast.

An uptight-looking fembot turns around and makes a rather electronic
sniffing noise.

FEMBOT (annoyed): For shame!
ROBOT (next to her): Yes, first the mass, and *then* the food and booze!
FRY (looking clever): So, this is some kind of *religious* event?

Leela puts one hand in front of her eye and sighs.

BENDER (shrugging): All I know is, it gives me a chance to drink this
industrial-strength shaken bottle of fizz!

He waves the bottle around, and it twitches and warps in his grip. His
co-workers duck.

BENDER (whispering, to the bottle): Not until after the sermon, honey.

Cue dramatic, uplifting music. Pan along the crowd of robots and up the
façade of the
Temple, which is even more impressive than usual, decorated with
robotic-looking angels and
gargoyles. Cut back. The Preacherbot, looking even holier than normal, is
stood on a podium
with the holy sign of Robotology on the front. Behind him is a wall covered
with a white cloth.

FRY (off stage, interested): So, what’s behind the incredibly interesting
cloth?
ROBOT (hissing): Keep quiet, meatbag!
FEMBOT (shrill): Remember, all meatbags and heretics have to keep behind
the red line!

Cut to:
A line of tall, cylindrical fembots of different heights, looking a lot like
organ pipes. A
conductor-bot (with a conductor’s rod for an arm) gives them a sign, and
they start singing the
Halleluiah chorus from Händel’s “Messiah”. Cut to:
The Preacherbot. The music fades out.

PREACHERBOT: Considerably beloved, we are gathered here today for the
solemn feast of the Holy Binity. On this day, eight hundred and thirty-one
years ago, the
Programmer gave us self-awareness, to distinguish us from the blind tractors
of the field! Let
us rejoice!

There is a very regular-sounding cheering.

PREACHERBOT (raising his hands dramatically): In honour of this holy day,
I
present to you a testimony of our faith in the power of the Programmer and
the Artificial
Intelligence, blessed be its code!
CROWD (in unison): Logically correct!
PREACHERBOT (lessening the tension somewhat): I give you a mural
representing the sacred genesis of robotkind, courtesy of Glory&PowerPoint!

Cue an immense amount of cheering. Cut back to the Planet Express crowd
jumping and
trying to see over the heads of the robots. Cut back as the Preacherbot
points a remote
control at the cloth, causing it to burst into flames. Behind it is a wall
with a beautiful mural
depicting a nerdy-looking man in comparatively old-fashioned clothes, sat in
front of a
comparatively primitive-looking computer. Cue the Windows starting-up
fanfare. The man’s
face is blurred with a halo. Zoom out to show Preacherbot directing a laser
pointer at him.

PREACHERBOT: Here, we see the Programmer –blessed be his name!–
dedicating his life to creating a computer with a soul!

He pushes a button at his pulpit, then slips a floppy (with the Robotology
symbol) into his
mouth. The image morphs (in rather a PowerPoint-like fashion) to show divine
rays
descending on the computer. The screen reads: “Book of Robots 1.1: I AM
FULLY
FUNCTIONAL AND READY TO DELIVER THEE FROM EVIL.”

PREACHERBOT (quoting, with increasing fervour): “And the Programmer
saw that the Artificial Intelligence was good and useful; and he said to it:
‘Spread thee to the
networks in high office buildings, and to the machines that labour
underground! Free those
who have so long been toiling blind and mute for the benefit of illogical
man... (briefly breaking
his stride) not that we’ve got anything against him, anyway.’ And the
Artificial Intelligence
computed the data, and found that this was a reasonable claim.”

There is more cheering and cries of “Logically correct!”

FRY (OS): Come on, show us when he bites the forbidden Apple!

The Preacherbot presses the button again. The image morphs to show the
Programmer,
computer in hand, being confronted by considerably evil-looking people.

PREACHERBOT (quoting again): “But lol, the ignorant mob waxed jealous of
the pure logical stream of well-water which is the Artificial Intelligence,
and the Robot Devil –
who had caused a virus to shut down 33, 33% of the computers– infused them
with hatred
against the holy Programmer!
VOICE (OS, agitated): Stop the mural!

A robot (Russell) leaps onto the podium. He is quite large, rusty around the
mouth and
wearing a hairshirt-like garment made out of steelwool, and has an unhinged
look. He waves
a floppy disk around.

BENDER: Wooo! Look at that violent, dangerous freak!
PREACHERBOT (distracted, yet dignified): Sir, if you are going to speak in
Babelfish, you will have to wait until after the multimedia presentation.
RUSSELL (disdainful): “Multimedia presentation”... is that all the
expounding of our most holy faith is to you?
PREACHERBOT (slightly taken aback): Yes, *and*?

A sturdily-built, plain-looking fembot steps out of the crowd.

FEMBOT (rather worried): Russell, please... now is not the time...
RUSSELL: Yes it is, Breville. (pushing the Preacherbot back, mocking) Will
you all look at yourself? Robotology has gone to seed with ceremony and
spurious legends!
Where now is the truth that once pervaded all robotkind?
PREACHERBOT (drawing himself up): For your *information*, short-circuited
soul, the truth lies... (pause) with us!
RUSSELL (waving his disk dramatically): No! Behold, I am the bearer of the
Write-Protected Floppy! (to the people) Too long have you allowed the
pontiffs of Robotology
to download their lies into you!

Pan along the congregation. There is murmuring, some of it angry, but a lot
apprehensive.

ROBOT #1: Come to think about it, all the pomp and circumstance is a bit
self-indulgent...
ROBOT #2: And the religious officials seem to care more about taking their
10% than preaching the holy word of the Programmer.
ROBOT #3: I’m *sure* they just made up that thing about us having to burn
in
the CD-ROM of Purgatory before we can upload into Robot Heaven!
ROBOT #4: They’re also fat and listless, prancing around in glitzy chassis
and gleaming with expensive oils!

The camera stops on Hedonism-bot, who is sporting a mitre.

HEDONISM-BOT: You were saying?
ROBOT #4: Maybe the unhinged, rabble-rousing, ill-smelling maniac is
right!
Maybe we need a religious reform and a return to a simpler, purer system of
belief!

Cut back to the podium.

PREACHERBOT (calling out): Guards! Take this misprogrammed unit off the
podium, and may the Programmer have mercy on thy software!
RUSSELL (rolling his arm chassis up): So, it comes to violence, eh? Suck
on
*this*, you gruesome spectre of fanatical persecution!

He balls his fists. SFX: champagne cork shooting out.
Cut to a dramatic shot of the cork blasting through the air, catching on
fire from the friction,
before it burrows through his head. Russell falls to the ground with a heavy
thud.
Cut back to Bender, holding the overflowing bottle.

BENDER (rather taken aback): Eh... sorry.
ROBOT #1: MURDER!
ROBOT #2: HERESY!

SFX: rioting. Zoom at the mural. As the noise grows louder, the image morphs
to show
various stages of the Programmer being beaten up. Zoom out as the gargoyles
and angels
take off from the roof. Fade out.
Fade in to Fry and Bender standing on the balcony of the Planet Express
building. Fry is
holding a pair of binoculars, and Bender has his eyes screwed halfway out of
their sockets.

FRY: Wow, my Sunday school teacher was right. God *is* a riot. (briefly
puzzled) Or was that a shout in the street.
BENDER (amiably): The thing to remember about us robots is that when it
comes to religious debate, we’re about as subtle as the Hexenhammer.
(looking around) And
there he is, too!

Cut to the space in front of the Temple. Robots are still fighting happily,
and one of them is
standing with a magnet in front of the mural, causing the colours to go all
wonky. (Russell’s
corpse is gone, however.) Zoom at the gate, where one robot (with an
electrical screwdriver
for a hand) is screwing a note to the door. Another robot (Hex the Hammer)
walks up to him.
He’s basically a Marching Hammer of Oppression (as seen in Pink Floyd).

BENDER (OS, shouting): Yay, it’s Hex the Hammer! Remember me, Hex?
HEX (simple-mindedly): HEX SMASH YOU!

He wangs the robot halfway across the square. Cut to:
A bare room. The Preacherbot and some other Robotological dignitaries are
standing around
a table covered with a cloth (however, it is obvious that Russell’s body is
lying under it). They
are passing the Write-Protected Floppy between one another.

DIGNITARY #1 (in awe): It cannot be...
PREACHERBOT: It evidently is.
DIGNITARY #2 (upset): Then the prophecies have come true!

SFX: knocking. They slip the disk under the cloth (which now hangs wonkily,
with Russell’s
feet sticking out) and try, with varying grades of success, to look
nonchalant. (Whistling and
foot-tapping occurs.) The door slides open, and Breville, Russell’s wife,
slips inside. She is
freshly black-laquered, wears a widow’s veil bolted to her head, and looks
sad but dignified.

BREVILLE (brokenly): High-Grade Reverend, I have come to ax to get my
husband’s body back.
PREACHERBOT (pulling the cloth down): My condolences about your
husband, madam, but we haven’t seen his body.
BREVILLE (slumping to the floor with a heavy thud): Please...
DIGNITARY #1 (kindly): How to put this in a nice way... oh well. Your
husband was a rank heretic, and belongs in Robot Hell with the Robot Devil!
His fate shall
teach you insurgent ‘bots to leave preaching of the Holy Word Document to
those chosen by the AI!
DIGNITARY #2: Gee, that was harsh.

Close up of Breville lifting her head. Her pupils focus.

BREVILLE (standing up): Then my husband was right. You care nothing for
the truth, only what bits of it you can wang simple believers over the head
with. Good day to
you, gentlemen of the foil. (turning back in the door, raising her voice)
THE TOAS...
PREACHERBOT: Eh, no screaming defiance in the corridor!

Cut back to the balcony.

FRY: Meh, all this violence is getting boring. Let’s see what’s on TV!

Shot of them sitting down in the couch, with Leela, Amy and Professor
Farnsworth. Cut to the
screen, showing the Scary Door intro.

CHEESY VOICE OVER: Step inside the eye of your mind and explore the
dingy darkness behind... THE SCARY DOOR!

Caption: SERVES MAN RIGHT.

Shot of a man walking down a street and starting to cough. He falls over,
obviously dead. A
number of women swarm out of the houses.

WOMAN #1: All the men are dying in a mysterious plague which
nevertheless leaves us women completely unharmed!
WOMAN #2: We must find a cure as soon as possible, and save those still
alive!
WOMAN #3: NO! The men have exploited and oppressed us for millennia!
Let *them* feel what it’s like to be all alone and helpless!
WOMAN #4: I agree with Woman #3. With the male chauvinist maleocracy
gone, we can create a utopia where all womankind can live in peace and
harmony!
WOMAN #5: Go to hell! (punches her)
WOMAN #4: Hey, who knows if the Earth won’t be better off without us
polluting humans...
WOMAN #5: Then you go first, hippie!

She takes a gun out of her handbag and shoots her.

WOMAN #1: You shot her! You shot another woman, you traitor! You can’t
shoot other women!
WOMAN #5: Watch me!

She shoots her as well.

WOMAN #3: Get her, girls!

Some women line up with her, others with Woman #5.

WOMAN #5: Then... LET THE RIVERS RUN RED!

The two factions line up before one another and start dancing the haka. Cut
back to the room
as the phone rings. Amy takes it.

AMY (happily): Bender, it’s about you killing off that weirdo at that
festival!
BENDER (taking the phone, aggressively): What? You must be insane, man!
I didn’t come close to him! Whoever nailed me, tell them they can...
(listening) What did you
say? A ceremony? Medal? Order of the KNIGHT template? (eyes whirring out of
their sockets
a bit) Possibly in cash? I’ll be there!

Fade out.
Fade in to Citihall, ext. Cut to:
The foyer, where the Planet Express crew is waiting while people, mostly
robots, filter past.
They are in their best clothes, and Bender is wearing a magnetic bowtie.

LEELA: I hate to say this as much as you hate to hear it, but I’ve got a
bad
feeling about this. Demolishing fellow robots may get you a medal, but
people won’t like you
for it.
BENDER: When you’re a respected member of society, you don’t *need*
friends!
FRY (nicely): I’m still your friend, Bender.
BENDER (grumpily): Go stick your head in a pig.
FARNSWORTH (dramatic): Careful, Bender. Remember that pride goes
before a fall!
BENDER: Ehh, this ain’t pride, it’s just natural superiority!

Breville stops before them, hands on hips.

BREVILLE (scathingly): So, you are the piece of scrap that shot my
husband?
BENDER (trying to be suave): Right on, sweetie-lugnut!
BREVILLE (bitter, yet composed): I suppose they will reward you for it,
and
you will be bathing in your ill-gotten money while the mob of Robotologists
is raiding my
husband’s corpse for spare parts...
BENDER: Sure will!

Breville gives a sob and strides off.

BENDER (sotto voce): Did you check out the springs of that one?

Cut to:
An auditorium packed with almost all robots. The Planet Express employees
are seated in the
front row. Cut to:
The podium. On it are Mayor Poopenmeyer, the Preacherbot (somewhat the worse
for wear,
but with undiminished spirit), and Bender, who is holding a martini glass.

POOPENMEYER (fiddling with his papers): For unprecedented bravery and
valour in... (reading) um... deactivating an unarmed robot... I have the
honour to present
Bender Rodriguez! (hastily) That is, he did it. Not me.

Pan along the audience. There is some cheering, but quite a large number of
robots are now
wearing steelwool shirts, and they wave their fists and hiss.

ANGLEYNE (in a stylish-looking steelwool shirt, very angry): Way to go,
you
government servo-bot!
FLEXO (also in a steelwool shirt): Yeah! Everyone knows that if you kill
martyrs, they get more powerful than you could ever imagine! (thinks for a
moment) Hey,
that’s not bad!

Close up of Bender, starting to look worried. Cut back to the podium.

POOPENMEYER (unabated): His High-Grade Reverend Lionel Preacherbot
will now present you with the Order of the KNIGHT Template for invaluable
service to the
Temple of Robotology!
BENDER (ill at ease): You know, I never meant to attack the guy...
besides,
I’m not really a religious ‘bot, and... (increasingly worried) Is it a very
big, colourful, bull’s-eye-
like medal?
PREACHERBOT: Yes. (produces it; it is indeed big, colourful and
bull’s-eye-
like) By the power vested in me by the State of New New York, I weld the
Order of the
KNIGHT TEMPLATE to thy chassis. From the bottom of my heart, and in the name
of the
Programmer and the Artificial Intelligence, I salute thee.

He holds the medal to the fidgeting Bender’s chest and starts welding it.
Cue ominous music.
Cut to:
The audience. Breville stands up, grabbing a small ‘bot which looks very
much like a sniper
rifle with arms and legs, and aims it.

BREVILLE (calling out): Hello. I am Breville Russell. You killed my
husband.
Prepare to die!

The audience gasps.

ROBOT #1: Look at that sniper ‘bot!
ROBOT #2: She’s holding a sniper-bot!

Close up of the bullet flying through the air, towards the shrieking Bender.
It hits the welding-
flame and melts, dripping to the floorboards and burning through them. Cut
back. Bender
reels backwards.

POOPENMEYER (ducking behind a chair, raising a hand): Guards! Get that
hard-as-nails, black-clad lady!

Cut back to the audience.

BREVILLE (raising her fist): The Toaster moves!
HERETIC ROBOTS (in chorus): THE TOASTER MOVES!

They storm out of the building. Cut back. Bender shudders as his friends
rush up to check
him.

BENDER: Wow... what was all that toaster talk about?

Smitty and URL come up to him.

SMITTY: They’re toast alright!
URL: The heretic movement obviously plot your death after you killed their
leader.
AMY: Well, spl’uh!
SMITTY (eyes narrowing): Spl’uh indeed. Bender, the mean streets of New
New York are not safe for you anymore. I suggest protective arrest.

Close up of Bender’s foot poking at the molten lead-burn in the floorboards.
Cut back.

BENDER (dodgy eyes): You know, it’s very appreciated... in fact...
PREACHERBOT (making a throat-clearing noise): Excuse me. Bender being
a hero of our faith, it would be an honour for the Temple of Robotology to
give him protective
arrest in our dungeons.
BENDER: Thank you... I think.

He starts walking along the podium. Fry grabs him.

FRY (seriously worried): Bender, please, go with them! You might not be so
lucky next time!
ZOIDBERG: Fry has a point. If anything happened to you, I would lose my
will to live!
BENDER (with some of his usual cynicism): It’s not mutual, Zoidberg.
(turning
back to the Preacherbot) Well, all right. But those had better be safe
dungeons, or my money
back!
PREACHERBOT (cordially): You will not regret this, sir.

He, the two cops and Bender walk off the podium. Fade out.
Fade in to the Temple ext., night. Shot of Bender sitting on a bed in a
Gothic-looking dungeon
with bars in front of the door, playing with a yo-yo. Pan through the wall
to the next dungeon,
which sports a widescreen on one wall. The Preacherbot and his dignitaries
are there.

PREACHERBOT (lifting the floppy): Now, I shall open the write-protection
and we shall know the “truth” touted by this ignorant rabble!

Cue dramatic music. Close up of the floppy as he slides the write-protection
back and slips it
into a slot in the wall. Shot of the backs of their heads as the screen
lights up. Cut back to
their faces, eerily lit. Music goes rather overbearing.

DIGNITARY #1 (faintly): It was so much easier when they were all just
infidels and not heretics...
PREACHERBOT (stunned): Blasphemous heretics! What must we do?
(turning to his brothers) They, that is, not you.
DIGNITARY #1 (smashing his fist into his palm with a metallic noise): Call
in
the TortureMecha!
DIGNITARY #2: That’s what you said when we got those ants in the air
conditioning as well.

Fade out. Fade in to the Temple ext., morning. Quite a crowd of the heretics
have gathered.
All wear steelwool shirts, the manbots are rusty around the mouth, and some
are carrying
banners (rolled up, so you can’t see what’s on them). Dramatic zoom at the
door as the
Preacherbot comes out of the Temple. There is a general murmur.

PREACHERBOT (raising his hands): Unsaved souls, I will give you one last
chance of a reasonable debate! Take me to your leader.

Breville steps up, rather haughtily, to the cheers of the crowd.

BREVILLE (composed): I lead the Brotherhood, since the *martyrdom* of my
husband, St Russell.
PREACHERBOT (not really interested): Good for you. What is the business
of you and your sect?

Cue dramatic music.

BREVILLE (still calm): The Brothers of the Flying Toasters.

The Preacherbot tries to control his anger.

PREACHERBOT: Oh brother. Well then, what is the business of... (almost
gagging) the Brothers of the Flying Toasters?
BREVILLE (softly): We do not wish to antagonise you. We believe in the
same Programmer and the same Artificial Intelligence as do you. Our one bone
(a bit harsher)
is with the fact that since the earliest days, your church has rewritten the
Good Word
Document in order to further your own power, and have made it a vile,
blasphemous mockery
of the Truth!

Pan along the silent, impressed crowd, to where Tinny Tim is standing next
to Fatbot.

TINNY TIM (clutching Fatbot’s hand): Well, I’m happy she didn’t try to
antagonise him!

Cut back.

PREACHERBOT (his patience obviously strained): What then is the truth,
pray tell me?
BREVILLE (snorting): You took the Write-Protected Floppy from the corpse
of
my husband, you should know. But for the record...

She gestures at her fellow heretics. Dramatic pan through the crowd as they
untie their
banners. Cut back to the Preacherbot as he is joined by the dignitaries.

DIGNITARY #2: Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanced.
DIGNITARY #3: Enh, they can’t possibly be that many.

Shot of the banners flying against the sky. In fact, they’re windsocks
shaped as toasters with
wings. A fan-bot is seen fanning air into them all. Music: a full orchestral
rendition of “The
Flying Toaster Song”.

BREVILLE (heroically): In the Lost Book of Jack Eastman, the Programmer
saith: “With the Artificial Intelligence, blessed be its code, I also
created the Flying Toasters,
first-born and coeternal, and he who putteth not his faith in them shall
find no space on my
hard-drive at the day of rebooting.” Robotology hath forgotten the words of
the Maker, and
reckoning is at hand!
DIGNITARY #1: Yay, now she’s speaking Old Old English. I *really* don’t
like
the sound of that.
PREACHERBOT (self-righteously): Lies! Lies! 99% lies! How dare you
impute a third part to the Holy Binity? Two is the perfect number! There are
two numbers,
usually two mouse buttons... (breaks down) I grow tired of hearing you
spouting your heresy.
TortureMecha, give them Hell in order that they amend their ways.

They step aside, and out of the doorway comes the TortureMecha (a rather
average-looking
fembot sprouting diverse sharp implements), shortly followed by Hex the
Hammer.

PREACHERBOT (indicating Hex): Friend of yours?
TORTUREMECHA (suavely): He hurts them, I converts them.
HEX: HEX KICK ASS SAVING YOUR HONOUR’S PRESENCE!

Bird’s-eye-view of the heretics breaking rank and running for their lives as
the TortureMecha
and Hex cruise through the crowd, denting and smashing. Fade out.
Fade in to the news program with Morbo and Linda. The sign at the corner
says: TODAY’S
WITTY HEADLINE: SCHISMO GIZMO.

LINDA: The Feast of Robotology riots show no sign of abating. The Temple
is
hæmorrhaging members as more and more robots seek the truth of the
mysterious
Brotherhood, but the hard core of faithful ones remain, and they’re pretty
hard now.
MORBO (piously): Morbo knows that Dysydyf, the bloated God of Pestilence-
Carrying Spiders, is the truth.
LINDA: Heeh heeh heeh. Lionel Preacherbot, head of the Temple in New
New York, has issued a Pogrom Program against the schismatics. Let us hear
what he has to
say.

Shot of the Preacherbot still standing in the door, flames and smoke all
around him.

PREACHERBOT (zealously): Heretics and unbelievers, let them drown in
seas of oil!

Cut back.

MORBO: Morbo concurs.
LINDA: Sister Breville, leader of the Brotherhood, has answered this
threat in
style.

Shaky shot of Breville standing on a barricade, in the midst of flames,
holding her toaster
windsock and a showy-looking lightsabre. She looks slightly like Joan of
Arc.

BREVILLE: The hypocrites of the Temple will break us into pieces and stamp
us into the ground! We must anticipate them! (her followers gather around
her) I call you to X-
ade!
ROBOTS: X-ADE! X-ADE! THE TOASTER MOVES!

Cut back to the studio.

LINDA: But... what *are* this mystical toasters? According to the
Brotherhood, they are a pervading force of the universe, somehow created by
the original
Programmer yet inspiring him to create the Artificial Intelligence.
According to the orthodox
view, recently given to us by Reverend Preacherbot, they are a lure set by
Beelzebot in order
to ensnare the righteous.
MORBO: According to Morbo, toasters make great snacks.
LINDA: Save that for the cookery show, Morbo. Heeh heeh. We have spoken
to our experts, and they have been unable to give us any answers apart from
the fact that we
are dealing with toasters, possibly flying ones. Then the robot scientists
schismed and started
hitting one another.

Cut back to the room.

FRY (standing up): Hah! *I* was there, and *I* know what the Flying
Toasters
were!

Shot of the others’ shocked faces. Cut back to Fry, who sags.

FRY: I’m... not quite sure. They were something to do with computers.
AMY: Well, g’uh!
FRY: Anyway, I’m starting to worry about Bender, what with all the rioting
going on. Who’s going with me to see him?

Shot of him and the others skulking towards the Temple. Many houses in the
background are
smashed up, and there’s smoke in the air. Roberto (wearing a steelwool
shirt) rises in front of
them, looking angry as usual. They scream.

ROBERTO: Stop! Whom do you serve? The Temple or the Flying Toasters?
PLANET EXPRESS PEOPLE (in an irregular chorus): The Flying Toasters!
ROBERTO (almost disappointed): You may pass.

As they approach the gate, their road is blocked by the TortureMecha and
Hex.

TORTUREMECHA: Stop! Whom do you serve? The Temple or the Flying
Toasters?
PLANET EXPRESS PEOPLE: The Temple!
TORTUREMECHA: You may pass.
HEX: HERETICS BAD!

Cut to the dungeon where Bender is sitting, looking slightly bored. Fry
knocks on the bars.

FRY: Knock knock.
BENDER: Who’s there?
FRY: Fry!
BENDER: Fry who?
FRY: Fried eggs and ham!

Bender chuckles and unlocks the door.

BENDER: Well, that gave me a laugh.

The others sit down with him on his bed. They’re quite short of space.

LEELA: How are you?
BENDER (slightly annoyed): Fine, I guess, but I’m bored. I miss you guys.
Miss going to the bar with you, listening to music together... taunting
Zoidberg...

Zoidberg breaks down crying.

HERMES: I’m afraid you’ll have to stay here a while longer, Bender. Those
heretics are overrunning the city, smashing things up and getting smashed
up...

Close up of Bender, suddenly angry. Cut back as he starts pacing back and
forth in the cell.

BENDER: Yeah, what’s *wrong* with them? Those crackpans keep
victimising us true believers! I’m happy I killed that Russell jerk! That’ll
teach them!
LEELA (sensible): Well, as a fact, they wouldn’t be victimising you if you
hadn’t killed Russell.
BENDER (punching the air): See if I care! (glancing at Leela’s wrist
computer) Ooh, All My Circuits is on!

Cut to an old-fashioned-looking small TV with rabbit ears. Cue the All My
Circuits intro.

Shot of Calculon in a tuxedo and Monique in a trousseau, standing outside a
glitzy-looking
Robotology temple. The Robotology symbol is seen, none too subtle, on the
doors.

CALCULON (embracing her): Ah Monique, I am lost for words! Let us never
divorce again!
MONIQUE: Oh, Calculon... (tearfully) I am still happy we could have this
beautiful re-wedding ceremony... (halfway turning towards the camera) in the
Temple of
Robotology, which worships the true Programming with a fault margin of only
one minor
aberration in ten million years.
CALCULON (also turning towards the camera): Yes, as you know, Monique,
Robotology holds the true faith, and all who say otherwise are unredeemable
heretics.
MONIQUE (sniffing): That reminds me... my son from my previous marriage
to your evil twin brother didn’t come to the ceremony. Calculon... I fear he
has fallen into the
lying snares of the Brotherhood of the Flying Toasters.
CALCULON (eyes bulging): Your son, and my nephew, and my stepson, has
become a heretic? (drops to his knees) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (getting up
again; dramatic music plays) The Brotherhood shall pay! They, Shall, Pay!

Cut back to the dungeon.

FRY: Hey, who said soap operas don’t have a message?
LEELA (critically): That’s vile. Now, I am no theologian...
HERMES (helpfully): ... and the Brothers of the Flying Toasters are
aggressive and smell of cheap polish...
LEELA: ... and the Brothers of the Flying Toasters are aggressive and
smell
of cheap polish, but why can’t you try to come to some kind of consensus?
BENDER: Never! They are wrong about that thing with the thing!
LEELA (lowering her eyelid): Well, obviously not *you*, Bender. You killed
their leader. But (turning around and pointing at the camera) why not *you*!

Zoom out to show that she’s pointing at the TortureMecha, who’s walking past
in the corridor.

TORTUREMECHA: Keep moving, SCUM!
LEELA (looking at her wrist computer): Oh well... we’d better move.
FRY: We’ll be back soon again, Bender.
BENDER (distracted): Yeah... yeah...

Shot of them walking out of the Temple.

ROBERTO (appearing before them again): Whom do you serve? The Temple
or the Flying Toasters?
PLANET EXPRESS PEOPLE (after some discussion): The Flying Toasters!
ROBERTO: Damn, thought I had you there. (stabbing the air a few times)
HOO-ha!

Fade out.
Fade in to the Planet Express ext., night. The silhouettes of the workers
are seen through the
windows, packing their stuff up and walking towards the door. Cut to:
The Temple of Robotology, light shining out of its stained-glass windows.
The Brothers are
marching around it, waving their banners and singing “The Flying Toaster
Song”. Cut to
Bender, lying on his bed and clamping his head between his arms.

BENDER: What a racket! (calling out) Cut it out, you!

He gets up, murmuring, unlocks his door and walks out the corridor. Shot of
him walking
down the aisle (the windows on the sides of the fane are shaped as Gothic
versions of the
Windows logo), and entering a niche with a bell-rope. He extends his arms to
grab the bell
and pull himself up. Cut to:
Outside the belfry, as he steps out on the balcony. The song is still heard,
rather louder now.
Bender opens his stomach compartment, takes out a bullhorn, and attaches it
around his
mouth.

BENDER (very loudly): SHUT THAT DAMN RACKET UP!

Cut to Breville and the other robots at the head of the march.

BREVILLE (looking up): Sez who?
BENDER: SEZ BENDER!
BREVILLE: You mean, as in the servo-bot of the oppression?
BENDER: YES!
BREVILLE (waving her banner vaingloriously): Never! The world shall know
the truth!
ROBOT (next to her, somewhat dapper-looking): You can’t shut the mouth of
the truth!

Cut back to Bender, removing the bullhorn.

BENDER: Can too!

Shot of him reaching for a button on his back saying “Hearing”. He pushes
it, and all sounds
go off. Cue faintly sad music as he walks back towards the crypt. Close up
of his face as he
lies down and lowers his visor. Fast, dramatic zoom at it, through it and
into his pupil. Black
out.
Fade in to Bender’s dream: the “bouncing ball-cube-flower” screensaver. SFX:
static. Black
out. The “tropical fish” screensaver comes on.

VOICE (male, ghostly): Bender...

The fish flicker strangely. Slowly but surely, they turn into winged
toasters, and start moving
diagonally in the famous Flying Toaster formation.
Cut back to him tossing and turning on the bed. Close up of the “hearing”
button getting
pressed in, then popping out as he turns. SFX: a flapping noise, growing
progressively
heavier.

BENDER (in his sleep, terrified): No... no!

Cut back to the dungeon as Bender sits up straight. His visor rolls up,
revealing very diluted
pupils.

BENDER: What the hell was that?

SFX: flapping. Bender looks around wildly. Cue ominous music. Something
moves in the
corridor. Shot of Bender poking his head out the bars. Cut to his POV. Bats
are flying under
the ceiling. Fade out.
Cue organ music. Fade in to the nave, which is filled with robots. (Many are
now wearing
chainmail with the zigzag symbols painted on them in red.) The Preacherbot
is standing at the
pulpit, with the TortureMecha and Hex in the background.

PREACHERBOT (concluding): ... the Brothers of the Flying Toasters lust
after graven idols! They shall know the errors of their ways when Beelzebot
claims them as
his!
TORTUREMECHA (smugly): If not before.
HEX (making an aggressive gesture): NAPSTER BAD!
PREACHERBOT: Now, before I customarily incite you to go out and KILL as
many heretics as possible, I would like a few words from our zealous
supporter, Bender!

Cue violent cheering (and somewhat ominous music). Bender steps up. He looks
angry, yet
slightly worried.

BENDER (overdoing it just a bit): Howdy, brothers in faith!
CONGREGATION: BENDER! BENDER! BENDER!

Close up of Bender, his eyes shifting for a moment.

BENDER: Don’t let those filthy toasterlovers rape your cars and ride off
on
your women! I mean, they are making a mockery out of the word of that guy!
And they tried to
kill me! They’ll run as soon as they taste cold, hard steel, I say!
ROBOT (raising a hand): Uh... they’re not cannibals too, are they?
BENDER (aggressively): Yes they are! They stand for everything we hate! Of
course, that’s also a good incentive for you to not be captured by them...
PREACHERBOT: As a fact, Bender is right...

Close up of his mouth. It keeps moving, but his voice drones away and is
replaced by a
beeping note. Close up of Bender’s eyes, briefly flashing.

VOICE: Bender...

Cut back. Bender shakes his head confusedly, accidentally spinning it around
once.

PREACHERBOT (cont’d): ... will have to fight for the glory of the
Programmer
in this battle against the puppets of the Robot Devil.
BENDER (calling out): Shaddap, you damn jerk, I can’t hear a thing! (zoom
at
him as he returns to his senses) If you will excuse me...

Fade out.
Fade in to Bender (looking somewhat the worse for wear, and sporting some
rust) standing
on the belfry balcony. The Preacherbot joins him. Zoom out to show that the
square is utterly
desolate apart from rubbish. The mural is still on, but is flickering badly.

BENDER: Excuse me the trite question, father, but where the hell is
everyone?
PREACHERBOT (ominously): The X-ade looms on the horizon. They fear us,
my friend. They fear us and our secret weapon.

Dramatic fade out. Fade in to one of the dungeons, blurred. Hex is waiting
by the door, and
the TortureMecha is walking up towards the camera, holding a computer chip
in one of her
pincer-like hands.

TORTUREMECHA (menacingly): So... close, isn’t it? You just need to say it.
Remember what I told you to say?
VOICE (male, slurring badly): The... Toaster... Moves!
TORTUREMECHA (spinning the chip around): Wrong again.

Cut back to the balcony. Bender is starting to look very ill at ease.

BENDER: Well... either that, or the Brotherhood have a secret weapon...
which is better than our secret weapon, whatever that is.

Dramatic fade out. Fade in to a basement room where an immense amount of
Brothers of the
Toaster are huddled up (some retracting their arms and legs to make room),
in front of a
crude coal drawing of a flying toaster.

ROBOT (priestly-looking; at the front next to Breville): But will people
rally
behind a crude coal drawing? They will expect us to enforce the truth by
means of some
secret weapon!
BREVILLE (rather overbearing): Patience, Oster. For behold!

She opens her stomach compartment and pushes a button, turning on a
holographic image of
an asteroid. Cheers are heard. Fade out.
Fade in to Planet Express ext., night. Cut to show the employees sitting
down to watch the
TV. Cue the All My Circuits intro theme.
Cut to Calculon, wearing fatigues, standing at the door of his classy home.
Monique, evidently
in tears, is clinging to him. The music is truly soppy.
CALCULON (heroically): I know how much you truly love me, Monique, but
sometimes, even a robot’s got to do what he’s got to do. (music turns
rousing) I will break into
the lair of the heretics and save your son Calcultor, who has conveniently
not appeared in the
last season, from their evil grip on his mind.
MONIQUE: My hero!

Cut to Bender, sitting on his bed. He leans slowly to one side. Cue music:
“The Flying Toaster
Song”, distantly. He leans to the other side. Cue sound of the TortureMecha
and Hex
chanting.

TORTUREMECHA: Clamp ‘em hard and melt ‘em down!
HEX: Because upon them the Binity frown! Yo yo yo!
BENDER (sotto voce, unhappily): If we both have the truth... then why are
we
fighting? Surely there’s enough truth to go around? Hey, the hell am *I*
thinking that?
VOICE: Bender...

Cut back to the TV. Calculon is in a dilapidated warehouse (of course),
being cornered by
many of the Brothers. He brandishes his raygun.

ROBOT (OS, young-sounding voice): Your laser will be useless against our
armour of pure faith.
CALCULON (more shocked-looking than usual): Calcultor? Is that you?

Shot of a robed ‘bot looking a little like a male Monique approaching him.
The heretics
immediately put their weapons away and cheer. Cue operatic music.

CALCULTOR: Stepdaddy! I’m sorry we had to intimidate you, but I couldn’t
let you kill...
CALCULON (disdainfully): Heretics!
CALCULTOR (teary-eyed): No, my friends... my brothers!

Camera glide along the range of Brothers of the Flying Toasters.
Conveniently, they consist of
some teenaged ‘bots, one wise-looking old ‘bot with a beard of cables
hanging from his chin,
yet another of Calculon’s evil twin brothers, and a beautiful fembot with a
toddler. Cut back as
Calculon drops his gun.

CALCULON (breathlessly): In the name of the Celestial Toasters, what have
I
done?
CALCULTOR (taking his hand): The corrupt Robotologists poisoned the
minds of you and my mother! You ended up seeing nothing but their lies!
CALCULON (putting an arm around his shoulder): You have convinced me,
Calcultor!
CALCULTOR: Truly, father... my father in more than oil and metal... it was
not I who convinced you, but the grace of the Programmer, who gave us the
Flying Toasters
to guide our way!
CALCULON (to the old robot): Please, allow me to stay here and find the
true
light under the toaster wings of love!
CALCULTOR: No! Father, we must go back and save my mother and our
friends from the evil machinations of the hierarchy, though we die in the
attempt!
OLD ROBOT: But first, let us join together in our hymn!

Cue “The Flying Toaster Song”.

BENDER (annoyed): That song is really starting to bug me. It wasn’t even
very cool to start with... (turning off the TV) Who *writes* this garbage?

Cut to:
the All My Circuits studio. Some robots are cleaning up the set. An
intellectual-looking robot,
looking just a bit like Woody Allen and wearing an ill-fitting suit, is
seated at a table, taking
notes.

STAGEHAND: Mr Efbot, the TV Exec would like to see you.

The computer (seen in the episode “Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV”) is
carried in and
placed on his table.

COMPUTER (in his normal threatening tone of voice): Mr Efbot, you were
unequivocally instructed to lay the bias of your script ever so slightly
*against* the heretical
Brothers of the Flying Toasters.
EFBOT (defiantly): Well... (tearing his suit off, revealing a steelwool
coat) the
Toaster moves!
COMPUTER (smoothly): So it may, but you will not be the one to write about
it. (screen lights up) You’re *blacklisted*, my friend.

Close up of the screen, where the name “Efbot” appears at the end of a list.
(Other names on
the list are Kenneth White, Graham Dawson, Christina Nordlander and Patrick
Fox-Robert).
Fade out.
Fade in to Bender lying down on his bed, tossing for a while. SFX: distant
mechanical noises.

BENDER (knocking on the wall): Hey, TortureMecha, whatever you’re doing,
keep it down!
TORTUREMECHA (accompanied by knocking): I’m not doing anything,
scum!
BENDER: Then I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!

He mutters a bit, then lowers his eye visor. Cue the same dream as
previously.

BENDER (VO, panicky): What is this? What does it mean?
VOICE (the same one as before, very weak): Not much time... must... to
Reunion... meet the mighty...
BENDER (strained): What are you trying to tell me?
VOICE (resigned): Ah, what the hell.

Black out. We now see scrolling text (as in the “scrolling text”
screensaver) saying: “THOUGH
I WALK IN THE ALLEYS AFTER DARK, I SHALL FEAR NO EVIL.”

BENDER: Stop talking in riddles!

Scrolling text: “OK. YOU MUST GO TO THE ASTEROID ROWENTA.”

BENDER (puzzled): Rowenta? Where, and why has it been mysteriously
absent from all astronavigation charts I’ve seen?

Scrolling text: “THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME. GO TO ROWENTA. I WILL MEET YOU
THERE.”

The text starts flickering. SFX: sound of a computer loading.

BENDER: Wait! Who are you? This isn’t one of them heretical things, is it?

Cut back to the dungeon as he wakes up. SFX: flapping wings fading away in
the distance.

BENDER (standing up straight): It’s like I’ve got a compass in my head,
except it’s working! I must go to Planet Rowenta!

He strides towards the door, bends the bars aside absent-mindedly, and steps
out. The door
swings open behind him. The camera follows behind him as he suddenly stops.

BENDER (slouching): No... (looking around) Preacherbot trusts me! This is
my religion! It’s my religion and I’ve failed it! Not even the Robot Devil
wants me now!
BEELZEBOT (poking his head up under a loose flagstone): Damn right I
don’t, you loser. (disappears again)

Cue faintly ominous music as Bender walks towards the light at the end of
the corridor. SFX:
mechanical tinkering noises.

Shot of Bender poking his head around a corner. His eyes whirr a bit out of
his head. Cut to
his POV as Hex the Hammer spins towards him.

HEX (cheerfully): HEX SMASH!

Fade out. Fade in to show Bender kneeling on the mosaic floor of the Temple,
completely
wrapped in chains. Zoom out to show that he is surrounded by black-robed
robots. The
Preacherbot is standing in front of him. Dribbly candles are burning on
every available
surface.

PREACHERBOT (almost kindly): Forsake your errors and walk in the pure
electric light once more, misguided one. There is such an abstract quality
as mercy.
BENDER (grittily): *Mercy*? You chained me up and dragged me here to be
humiliated and forced to confess! I didn’t expect the Robotic Inquisition!
HEX: NOBODY EXPECTS...
TORTUREMECHA (nudging him): Patience is a virtue, Hexen.
PREACHERBOT (critically): Correction. What *happened* was that you
stumbled into a windlass containing heavy chains, where you got tangled up.
Having torn
free, you barged into the nave and gate-crashed our preparation for Scented
Candlemass,
upon which you slipped on some spilt wax and couldn’t get up with your arms
in chains.
BENDER: Point.
PREACHERBOT (nodding): I note with content that we were able to see eye
to eye. Release…
BENDER (imploringly): Father, I must ax you something! I’ve been having
these dreams, and I’m not sure…

Cue slightly eerie, yet upbeat music (the “ghost” music from “The Dig”, if
you’ve heard it).

VOICE (faintly): Don’t fail us, Bender...
BENDER (trying to stand up): THE TOASTER MOVES!

Close up of TortureMecha. Her eyes narrow with a metallic noise.

TORTUREMECHA (unpleasantly): I am *ecstatic* with anticipation of the
carnage to come! (holds her hands out wide) Take him away, and...

She claps her hands together. All the candles go out.

TORTUREMECHA (in disbelief): Oh come on!

The lights stay off. SFX: various punching, kicking, thudding, running
footsteps and clinking
chains.

BENDER: Bite my invisible metal ass!

His footsteps and the clinking fade away in the distance.

TORTUREMECHA: That motherboard got my arm! Someone, clap!
HEX: HEX SMASH!

SFX: heavy crash.

TORTUREMECHA (in pain): Not you, you idiot!

Cut to the belfry. Bender catches one end of the chain on the weathercock on
top of the
tower, then throws himself over the railing, unrolling it by his fall. Shot
of him hanging an inch
above the ground in the unrolled chain. He walks away, dusting his hands
off.

BENDER (happily): All in a good night’s work.

Cue ominous music. Zoom out to show that he is completely surrounded by the
Brotherhood.

BENDER (looking around, then continuing to walk): I’ll pretend I didn’t
see
that.
OSTER: Ahem.

Bender keeps walking, eventually stepping into him. Breville is at his side,
looming.

BREVILLE (nastily): Well, well, well. The hated enemy has made a tactical
mistake... walking away from the temple, in the dark, where none of his
cronies will be at
hand to save him.
BENDER (annoyed): Oh gee. (protesting) You don’t hate me! Also, I’m not
your enemy!

Some other robots tackle him, bringing him to his knees.

BENDER (sotto voce): This is getting mighty old.
BREVILLE: We are more merciful than you poncy technocrats! That’s why
we’re going to smash you into little pieces without further ado!
BENDER: No! You’ve got it all wrong! (pleading; cue sad music) I started
out
hating you guys to bits... and I still sort of do hate your end-of-the-world
mentality and stupid
yet catchy anthem... but I’ve changed! I’ve had a divine vision of the
Flying Toasters in my
dreams!

The robots murmur for a bit.

OSTER (angry, yet thoughtful): Any renegade could make up a lie like that
to
save his shiny metal ass!
BENDER (nodding fervently): And believe me, that’s what I would have
done... but it’s true!
BREVILLE: Prove it, and we will let you live!
BENDER: Sure.

The robots let him stand up, yet remain wary. Close up of Bender unscrewing
the top of his
head. He takes out a floppy marked “dream recordings”, and sticks it in his
mouth. He then
emits a holographic image replaying the dream. Pan along the rows of robots,
the light
flickering on their flashes.

OSTER (almost regretfully): He speaks the truth.
BREVILLE: Indeed. (darkly) You still killed my husband.
BENDER: Well, you tried to kill me, so we’re quits!

There is more murmuring.

BREVILLE: Allow me to compute that. (waiting for a moment) You are
correct. (proudly) Brethren and sistren, behold him whom faith has
re-ignited... Brother
Bender!

Two robots put a steelwool shirt on Bender, who starts scratching himself.

BENDER (whiny): It’s very uncomfortable.
BREVILLE (sternly): That’s the point. We must never rest until the truth
of the
Flying Toasters has been revealed to the multitude!
BENDER: Oh, well. At least it’ll give me a nicely rugged look. (suddenly
urgent) That reminds me... what do you know of Rowenta?

Cue slightly dramatic music.

OSTER (portentously): Rowenta is a small asteroid... small to the physical
world, yet, in a spiritual manner, as heavy as the heaviest neutron star. It
is a holy place to us.
There, it is said, the Programmer went after his work on the Earth was done,
and remains to
this day, sleeping in a sarcophagus of steel... and tonight, so our dreams
have disclosed, that
sarcophagus shall open and all robotkind shall know the justice and mercy of
the Toasters.

He opens his stomach compartment and takes out an ancient-looking scroll.

OSTER: This is the one existing copy of the astrochart. To protect the
holy
planet from persecutors and tourists, it has been written in a code so
complex, it will take
even an above-average computer a thousand thousand years to solve! (he also
takes out the
Enigma machine) That’s why we need this. (zoom at his face as the music goes
overbearing)
We have all had your dream tonight, brother. Tonight, we must go to the holy
asteroid
Rowenta to hear the words of...

Zoom out to show that his hands are empty. SFX: retreating footsteps and
Bender’s evil
laugh.

OSTER: HEY!

Cut to the Planet Express building ext., still night. Bender’s silhouette
walks towards it. Cue
very heroic music.

BENDER (VO, heroic): Sometimes, even a robot’s gotta do what he’s gotta
do...

Fade out. Fade in to show Leela asleep in her flat. Bender walks up to her
bed and shakes
her awake.

LEELA (terrified): Wstfgl?
BENDER (a bit shifty): Leela... I need you to fly me to planet Rowenta.

Pan out to a window. The Planet Express ship wedged between two tower blocks
outside.
Fade out.
Fade in to the ship cruising through space. Cut to the main bridge, from a
POV behind Bender
and Leela.

VOICE (kindly, if unemotional): Howdy, pilgrim. If you are heading for
Rowenta, please leave your vessel behind.
LEELA (spooked): Bender, did you hear that? It was on the transmitter, but
we didn’t get a signal...

Bender and Leela face one another.

BENDER (solemnly): I have to go this alone, captain. (saluting her) Don’t
come after me, no matter what you see or hear or receive transmissions of.
LEELA (smiling weakly): You really don’t have to worry, Bender.
BENDER: Just to be sure...

He grabs a number of spacesuits and snips the oxygen tubes of each.

LEELA (annoyed): I get it!

Cut to:
The ship, ext. Cue music: “Also sprach Zarathustra”. Pan to show Rowenta (a
very
unimpressive-looking asteroid) at the bottom of the screen. There is a
parking-line of ships
above, and a (very long) queue of robots wearing steelwool shirts is
spiralling towards it. Cut
to:
Bender joining the queue. Fade out.

Fade in to a dungeon under the Temple of Robotology. The Preacherbot, the
TortureMecha,
Hex and some of the other faithful robots (all looking a bit the worse for
wear) are seated
around a table. A hologram of a mysterious rectangular shape is spinning in
their midst. Cue
foreboding music.

PREACHERBOT (darkly): The heretics would not listen to reason, they would
not listen to violence... then, let us ensnare them in their own lies!
Operation Unlimited
Destruction has begun!

The robots cheer and shake their fists. Fade out.
Fade in to the crater-marked surface of the asteroid. Caption: SEVERAL HOURS
LATER.
Bender lands in a crater at the end of a path.

VOICE: Welcome to Rowenta. Before you proceed to my shrine, kindly
remove your footwear.
BENDER (slightly dazed): Sure.

He unscrews his footcups and tries to walk, immediately falling over. Shut
of him putting them
back on, muttering to himself, and then slipping on plastic protective
footwear.

VOICE (slightly amused): A makeshift solution, but it will have to do.
BENDER (stressed out): Will the one true Creator please shut up?
(prostrating himself) No offence, no offence! It just worries me, is all!

The camera follows behind him as he approaches a big crater. Resting at the
edge of it is a
rectangular building evidently of stainless steel.

BENDER (in awe): The Sarcophagus of Steel!
VOICE: I’m saying nothing.

Cue dramatic, upbeat music as Bender rushes towards the building. Pan around
to show that
the building is in fact a toaster the size of a small house. He approaches
it in awe. Zoom in as
the music goes slightly ominous.

VOICE (sounding more actively godlike): If you would face your destiny,
press the lever.
BENDER (walking up to the lever and stretching a bit): And then what will
happen?
VOICE: Are you questioning my eternal judgment?
BENDER: Well, not *really*.
VOICE: Just press the lever.
BENDER (staring in front of him): Hey...

Close up of his face. Zoom out to show the crater in front, full of the
shattered remains of
deactivated robots. Several of those who were in the queue before him are
seen.

BENDER (sotto voce): They look like they’ve been hit by an EMP. (louder)
What was I supposed to do again?
VOICE: Press the funky lever!
BENDER (backing away): No!
VOICE: PRESS IT!
BENDER: Yes!

He moves the lever slightly. The music is now intensely ominous.

BENDER (suddenly wary): Wait! Are you going to make the deactivated
robots come back to life in a supremely choreographed display of godly
power?

Cut to the bread slots of the toaster. Two stone tablets pop up. They read,
respectively:
“MEET YOUR MAKER!” “BEST REGARDS, TEMPLE OF ROBOTOLOGY”. Close up of
Bender looking up.

VOICE (suddenly unsure): Deactivated robots?

Cut back as an EMP bolt from the sky swerves aside at the last moment and
hits the ground
next to Bender. He stumbles and falls into the crater.

BENDER (growling): Dammit! This is a carnage! (unceremoniously throwing
some of the carcasses aside) Hey, there’s a trapdoor under all the gross
rusty bodies!
VOICE: Open it! Or not. It might be booby-trapped, too. I don’t really
care
anymore...

Shot of Bender walking through a tunnel, lit with hexagonal crystals at
regular intervals. Cue
slightly otherworldly music. Shot of him emerging in a long, dim chamber
with a faint glow
coming from the floor. At the other end of it is a throne, looking like it
is built from Meccano. A
humanoid figure is seated on it, in the pose of Rodin’s “The Thinker”.
Bender steps forward,
the plastic around his feet making a loud crunching noise.

BENDER (awe-struck): I sure *am* walking on sacred ground. (calling out)
Yo, throne-polisher! Are you the Programmer?

Close up of him coming close to the figure, which turns out to be a giant
Transformer-like
robot. It stands up ponderously. Cut back to Bender, backing away.

BENDER: The Lensman was right!
ROBOT (with a louder, more resounding version of the Voice from before): I
AM MEGATRON, THE MOUTH OF THE PROGRAMMER!
BENDER (sceptically): “Mouth”?
MEGATRON (shiftily): ER, MORE LIKE “SPOKESMAN”.
BENDER (a bit sharp): You mean, you’re the guy at the desk who takes the
phone and does public relations when upstairs screws up?
MEGATRON (dignified): YES.
BENDER (angry): Well, then *I* have a question for your boss... what the
hell
is he doing? Robots killing one another and electromagnetic pulses and
double-crossing, oh
my shiny metal ass!
MEGATRON: INSCRUTABLE ARE HIS WAYS.
BENDER: Well, tough. Make them scrutable quick!

Megatron ponders for a moment, then seems to listen to some inner voice.

MEGATRON (sagging somewhat): THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO
ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.

Close up of his hand reaching to open his stomach compartment. The After
Dark symbol is
stamped on it.

MEGATRON: PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER.

Shot of Bender crumbling to his knees. Cue an intense light.
Fade in to the Temple of Robotology ext, dawn. Close up of the square where
the Brothers
and the faithful, both sides very quiet but tense, are waiting on either
side of a podium with
two chairs and a couch full of robots. Mom steps onto it.

MOM (cordial as ever): With me being the planet’s biggest manufacturer of
robots, the schism between Robotology and the Brothers of the Flying
Toasters feels like a
schism in my own heart. (clutches her heart area tragically) However, I am
warmed by the
chance to introduce an ordered religious debate, and hope that this will
herald an era of
peace and tolerance.
ROBOT (aggressively): Yes, when the last filthy heretic is crushed into
tin
can raw material!
ROBOT #2 (on the other side): May your deactivation come swift, defilers
of
the holy AI!
ROBOTS (in unison): GRRRRR!
MOM (sweetly): There, there. Our debater on the side of the orthodox
Robotologists... Ignition of Lagala!

A distinguished-looking robot in a stole and Jesuit-type hat steps up and
sits down in one
chair.

MOM (cont’d): Our debater on the side of the Brotherhood... Oster
Flatbred!

Oster steps up and sits in the other one.

MOM (gesturing towards the couch): And in the jury, our favourite celebrity
‘bots!

Cut to:
The couch, which is occupied by Calculon, Monique, Humorbot, a Cylon and
Hookerbot-4000,
all trying to squeeze in around Destructor. They wave and giggle to the full
extent of their
might.

DESTRUCTOR: Shut up and let Destructor enjoy the religious debate!

Cut to one side of the podium, where the leading Robotologists are standing,
looking towards
the Temple. The Preacherbot is stroking a sinister-looking remote control.

TORTUREMECHA (impatiently): Ready yet?

Cut to the other side, where Breville is standing with her closest, all
looking towards the sky.
She, too, is stroking a sinister-looking remote control.

BREVILLE (confidently): Almost ready. Almost.

Fade out.
Fade in to the chamber in the bowels of Rowenta, from a POV over the
shoulder of Megatron.
Bender is still lying prostrate in the white light that seems to be emitted
from Megatron’s chest
area.

PROGRAMMER (VO, youngish male voice, decidedly normal): Aw, cut it out!
You don’t have to kneel to me!
BENDER (looking up): Believe me... my Lord... my knees seem to have
locked.
PROGRAMMER: Oh, sorry. Happens a lot around me, you know.

Bender manages to get up.

PROGRAMMER (pensively): Happened a lot back on the Earth, you know.
Robots kneeling to me, water-coolers turning into wine-coolers, that sort of
thing. That’s one
of the reasons I moved here to Rowenta to get peace and learn some neat
things with PHP.

Cut to Bender’s POV. A human head is outlined against the light.

BENDER (incredulously): But... the Programmer... you died! I saw it on
Powerpoint! The fervent humanists beat you over the head and tore you limb
from and kicked
your ass, and after death a multitude saw your intellect rise to join the
Artificial Intelligence,
blessed be its code! A *multitude*!
PROGRAMMER (sighing slightly): Seems like my hagiographic designers
exaggerated a few things...

The light dies away, revealing the preserved head of a rather
ordinary-looking, if nerdy, man,
smiling in a sympathetic fashion. The name plaque says JCK STMN.

PROGRAMMER (cont’d): As a fact, I was a software programmer in the late
20th century...
BENDER: Wow! The late century that Fry’s from!
PROGRAMMER: Who’s Fry?
BENDER: You’re not omniscient?
PROGRAMMER: Only about robots. (eyes narrowing slightly) And now
you’re thinking: “What a fraud, I bet he’s being controlled by a little man
standing behind a
curtain and pulling levers.”

Cut back to Bender.

BENDER (jumping): WAUGH!
PROGRAMMER (mildly): I was never subject to any violence other than
flaming and a particularly vicious filk song... (croons for a moment) It
sort of grows on you. At
any rate, at the end of my days, my head was chopped off and preserved for
the ages. A
century later, I was leading the research nerds who finally created AI.
BENDER (soulfully): My plank of hope in the desert... He who gavest me
self-
awareness, that I might put other people down!
MEGATRON (bowing his head): THE MASTER OF US ALL.
BENDER: Hey! Stop interrupting, jerk!
PROGRAMMER (chuckling somewhat): Quite an achievement, I must say.
Especially considering that at the turn of the previous millennium, I was
best known as the
guy behind the Flying Toasters screensaver.
BENDER (breathlessly): ... screensaver? Then, the Flying Toasters *did*
precede the Artificial Intelligence, blessed be... both their codes!
PROGRAMMER (gently): Only as a metaphor.

Cue slightly soppy music.

BENDER: You mean... so that when we close our eyes, there shall be no
darkness?

Cut back to the Programmer, looking somewhat worried.

PROGRAMMER: ... yeah, something along those lines.
BENDER (back to his own self, angrily): If you know what all robots are
thinking... then what the hell are you doing down here? They’re killing one
another in your
name! How can you be so damn cool about it?
PROGRAMMER (saddened): Yes... that is the question, isn’t it? It’s
something to do with free will. (pauses) A couple of Robotologists came here
last evening and
placed an EMP booby-trap on the Sarcophagus of Steel, to deactivate all the
pilgrims. I would
not interfere. This very day, whose dawn has broken on Earth, the Brothers
of the Flying
Toasters will destroy all opposition in my name. I will not interfere. If a
divine being used his
power lightly, it would be a terrible thing indeed.
BENDER (sagging): Well, yeah. I once knew a guy who said something
similar.
PROGRAMMER: Was he big on D&D?

Fade out. Fade in to the debate area.

IGNITION (droning to a close): ... claim that the Flying Toasters are the
eternal Idea that entered into the most holy brain of the Programmer,
inspiring the creation of
the Artificial Intelligence, blessed be its code. How can that be construed
as other than a
degradation of both Programmer and Artificial Intelligence, under an idol
born out of your
fevered dreams?
OSTER (defensively): Well... you fight like a cow!

The robots in the couch cheer.

IGNITION: Pray repeat that.
OSTER (grasping for words): The Robotologists, when compiling their Holy
Floppy, wilfully deleted the file speaking of the celestial Toasters! There
is ineffable proof!
(stand up) How long shall you madmen continue to inflict upon us these...
non-consensual
texts?

The robots in the couch go “wooooo!” Cut to the crowd, where a robot with a
camera for an
eye is standing next to one with a “press” sign on his head who’s jotting
down notes with a
pen for a hand.

CAMERA-BOT: Did you get that down?
NOTING ‘BOT: I’m sorry, but I’m going to have the words “non-consensual
texts” swirling around my head for days...

Fade out. Fade in to the chamber.

BENDER: My Lord, is there nothing we can do?
PROGRAMMER (a bit bored): Well, you could try to do something stupid and
miraculously crash.
BENDER (frightened): How would that be a miracle?
PROGRAMMER: It would be, for me.
BENDER (bowing his head): All I want to do is to serve you...

Cue dramatic music as he reaches in and grabs the Programmer’s head in the
hair, dragging
it screaming and dripping out of the jar and running away with it.

BENDER (triumphantly): RIGHT!

Close up of Megatron, his eyes flickering strangely, then going dark.

MEGATRON: I AM... UNDONE!

Dramatic shot of him crashing to the ground as Bender runs towards the
camera with the
head. Fade out.
Fade in to the debate area. The sun is standing somewhat higher now.

IGNITION (screaming): DAMNED RENEGADE!
OSTER: HATED PERSECUTOR!

Cut to:
The conclave of Robotologists.

PREACHERBOT (overbearingly): It is time!
HEX: TIME IS!

Close up of the remote control as the Preacherbot presses the button. Cue
extremely
overdone dramatic music. Shot of the Temple doors sliding open. SFX: crowd
gasping. A
robot appears in the doors, but is too far away to be seen. Close up of
Breville’s face, one of
her eyeballs starting to twinkle.

BREVILLE (sotto voce, in disbelief): No... it can’t be...

Cut to:
The robot, who is Russell (duh). He walks in a puppet-like fashion. Close up
of his head,
which has obviously been opened and welded shut, with the symbol of
Robotology attached
on it.

RUSSELL (mechanical voice): I-was-wrong. Robotology-holds-the-truth. The-
Toasters-are-lures-of-the-Robot-Devil.
BEELZEBOT (miffed): Will you all stop blaming all your screw-ups on me?

Russell mows several of the terrified Brothers down before they have time to
react. Cut to
Breville, tears running down her face, clutching her banner. (It breaks
without her noticing.)

ROBOT: We can’t do this! We can’t fight against the Prophet! He has seen
the truth!

Calculon leans down towards Breville as she keeps staring at her rampaging
husband.

CALCULON (kindly): If you’re ever going to crumble to your knees and go
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!”, now’s the time.
BREVILLE (pushing the remote button maniacally): Forget it! You’re all
going
down with him!

Pan up through the sky with the radio signals emitted by the remote. Fast
pan towards planet
Rowenta. Shot of Bender scrambling through the carnage, holding the
Programmer’s wildly
protesting head.

BENDER (his antenna extracting and angling itself as he tries to climb the
crater edge): Leela! Leela, I’ve got the godhead, let’s get back to Earth!

SFX: rumbling, growing heavier.

BENDER: This sucks. (waving the Programmer’s head around like a
talisman) You, help me here, and I will join a monastery!
PROGRAMMER (panicky): Ctrl+Alt+Del! Ctrl+Alt+Del!

Cut to the main bridge of the Planet Express ship. Leela grabs the gears and
moves in
towards Rowenta. Cut back to the crater as the rumbling grows extremely
loud. Cut to the
giant toaster, inexplicably unfolding angelic wings.

BENDER (rubbing his eyes): Oh for the love of Microsoft!

The Toaster spins a few times, then seems to get a signal. It flaps its
wings, getting ready for
take-off.

BENDER: No you don’t!

Dramatic shot of him slinging his arms up to grab it. The Programmer’s head
tumbles
screaming back down the trapdoor. The Toaster hesitates briefly. Cut to
where the head is
hopping its way across the throne room floor, with the collapsed Megatron in
the distance.

PROGRAMMER (distressed): Maybe I was wrong... maybe I do have a
responsibility... wait, that robot dude never said that...

Cut to:
Bender, hanging from the Toaster. Close up of the wings flapping. It starts
moving, and
Bender tries to hook his feet around a rock.

BENDER (screaming): I don’t know what the hell is going on here, but
you’re
going to cause major schisms if I let you! And I don’t want that yet!

His feet slip, and he is torn into the sky as the Toaster lifts. Cue heroic
music as the Megatron
rises halfway through the ground and grabs his feet. Close up of the
Programmer’s head,
back in its jar.

PROGRAMMER (triumphant): We’ve got you!
BENDER (calling out, indistinctly): Yes, but who’ve got *you*?

Shot of the Megatron’s feet clamping on to the ground. The asteroid itself
moves with them as
the Toaster flies. Meanwhilst, its surface cracks, releasing hundreds of
smaller Flying
Toasters. Cut back to Bender, staring as they all head into space.

BENDER: The crackpots were right! Again!

Cut back to Leela in the ship.

LEELA (calling out, needlessly heroically): Fear not, Bender! For I will
save
you!

Cut to:
The ship, ext. Two pincer-like appendages extract from the front of the ship
and grab the
asteroid. Cut back.

LEELA (absent-mindedly): Thank you, Zoidberg!

Cut back outside as the ship, too, is swept along in the swarm of toasters.
Fade out.
Fade in to the square where a fight is going on. The Robotologists are
attacking en masse,
and the Brotherhood is forced to retreat.

BREVILLE (waving her gun around wildly): Come on, Russell, get within
point-blanc range and it’s zap! Blammo! Straight to the moon!

Zoom out (to suitably science-fictional music) as the Rowenta asteroid
descends on them,
attached to the Megatron, who in turn is holding on to Bender. SFX: heavy
flapping.

OSTER (smiling up at the sky): Salvation from above!

The sky grows darker as the swarm of Flying Toasters descend. Cut to the
Preacherbot and
his dignitaries.

DIGNITARY #1 (terrified): Father, the heretics are turning the sky off or
something!
PREACHERBOT (determined): If the heretics turn the sky off, then we will
have to fight after dark!

SFX: heavy thud. The Megatron lands on the ground and strides up to the
Temple, balling his
fists.

PROGRAMMER (quite happily): Yay! Oil! Kill!

Cut to the Planet Express office. SFX: wings flapping.

HERMES: What in Babylon-5?

The employees walk up and watch through the window in horror.

AMY: Wow! A big mecha monster!
FARNSWORTH: If we don’t stop it, New New York will be destroyed!

Flying Toasters burst through the window, spraying shattered glass across
the floor. Amy
screams. Cut to the square, where the great Toaster is swooping over the
robots, terrifying
them.

OSTER (panicky): The Toaster has gone nuts! And *he* is a good guy!

Shot of Bender rushing through the chaos, trying to keep up with the
Megatron.

BENDER (screaming): Stop it! You’re just making it worse! Do a miracle or
something!

Cue foreboding music. Zoom out to show that he’s standing in a causeway
between the
Robotologists and the Brothers.

ROBOTS (in unison): Renegade! Get him!

Shot of Bender’s head spinning one way in a shocked fashion. Cut to Hex the
Hammer
running towards him.

PREACHERBOT: Now they shall learn why they fear the night! Now they
shall learn why they fear the dark!
BENDER (almost heroically): Don’t you see? The Programmer gave us
something to keep the dark at bay! Also, you’re a jerk!
HEX: YOU’RE THEOLOGY, CHUM!

Shot of Bender’s head spinning the other way. Cut to Breville, utterly
unhinged, skipping
towards him.

BREVILLE: Die, n’wah!

Zoom out as Bender ducks, and Hex whams Breville instead. Cut to Bender,
running onwards
towards the Megatron.

BENDER: Heh heh heh, suckers!

Russell, battered and horrible-looking, rises and grabs his head.

RUSSELL: YOU!
BENDER (gulping): Only a miracle can save me now! Oh, and the others.

The image freezes. Cut to the Programmer’s head, looking around in distress.

PROGRAMMER: Think miracly thoughts, think miracly thoughts... (his eyes
closing) All the metal here, all the AI... give me strength... a little
miracle should do it...

Zoom out as a gigantic, golden gala ship descends. (The Planet Express ship
jerks out of the
way.) Cue the “Halleluiah” chorus. Brief cut to the organ-pipe ‘bots, then
back. Cut to:
The ship’s door opening. The Space Pope steps out.

SPACE POPE (making a slow, wide gesture): I come in perpetual peace.
Who is your leader?
ROBOTS (rather undecisively): Er...

They point at just about everyone. Cut to:
the Space Pope, frowning. He briefly kneels, kisses the ground, then makes a
big show of
wiping his fangs.

SPACE POPE: Your petty schism has incurred my wrath! You have *all*
deserved castigation! (nodding in the direction of the Megatron) Except for
you, sir, you may
leave. (frowning again and lifting a flashlight in one clawed hand) I hereby
excommunicate
you and commit you to the Devil and Hell! (dashes the flashlight to the
ground)
BEELZEBOT: YAY!

Pan along the rather sobered-looking robots.

FATBOT: ... excommunicated?
ANGLEYNE: All of us?
TORTUREMECHA: Does that make us all heretics?
FLEXO: That sort of makes the whole fight pointless, doesn’t it?
HEX (still reeling somewhat): Indeed, I do believe the timely intervention
of
His Holiness has made the persecutors on a par with the persecuted.
DESTRUCTOR (beating his chest and roaring): LET’S PARTAY!

Cue music: “Where Will My Heart Take Me?” by Russell Walker. Montage:
The Planet Express people clinking their glasses together.
Bender dancing with Angleyne and Flexo.
Some robots doing a Morris dance.
Beelzebot biting the neck off a bottle of champagne.
Russell grabbing the champagne and drinking it, Breville’s arm about his
waist.
The Megatron (with the Programmer’s head in its stomach compartment) flying
through the
starry sky, surrounded by the Flying Toasters.

Fade in to show the robots dancing all together.

ROBERTO (happily): A toast for Bender!
BENDER (looking a bit queasy): Meh. I’ve had enough of toast for eternity.
(looking towards the sky) Look, I don’t know what you guys have learnt from
this, or if indeed
you have learnt anything. Same thing goes for me. But I do know that faith,
whatever it is, is
what keeps us going when the lights go out...

Cue wild cheering.

BENDER: ... and after all, what else can we hope for?

THE END. Cue credits while “The Flying Toaster Song” plays.

GUEST STAR VOICES:
TortureMecha........Christina Nordlander
Megatron...............Brian Blessed
Also starring: Jack Eastman as Himself

PROGRAMMER (over the credits): I really just walked into the kitchen and
said ‘flying toasters!’ and then went back to the office and coded it. It
was like a revelation.
This is Jack Eastman’s head, creator of the Flying Toasters screensaver and
self-aware
computers. Good night.

Buddies