1177: Time Robot
Title text: NO FATE BUT THE NARRATIVES WE IMPOSE ON LIFE'S RANDOM CHAOS TO DISTRACT OURSELVES FROM OUR EXISTENTIAL PLIGHT
The comic starts with a scene similar to one in the 1984 science fiction action film The Terminator. In the movie a killing robot (played by Arnold Schwarzenneger) is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, the main female protagonist of the movie. A human, Kyle Reese, also travels back in time to protect her (and he acquires a sawed-off shotgun which Cueball holds in the strip).
However, in the following panels, Cueball explains that, even if he succeeds protecting Megan from the killing robot, we all are hunted by an unstoppable enemy trying to kill us – time. He goes on to point to the similarities between the time and a Terminator. The clock visible in the third panel features a red light in the place of a 3-hour marker, which is a reference to glowing red eyes of a Terminator.
In the final panel, “come with me if you want to live” is a famous phrase from the movie, but in this case, amended with the facts about the inevitability of eventual death.
Also, the title text is a play on a quote from The Terminator, where Sarah Connor starts to believe that “There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.”. It is also a reference to the character “Death” in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. In the Discworld novels, Death’s voice is always depicted in small caps and he is often caught making sometimes bizarre philosophical statements about life and death.
Randall ran a similar comic in 652: More Accurate, also riffing on Kyle Reese's introductory "Come with me if you want to live" line to Sarah Connor, but in that particular one, SkyNet simply sent an unmanned aerial vehicle to destroy Connor and Reese from high above the air.
- [Cueball runs towards Megan with shotgun in hand.]
- Cueball: I'm from the future!
- Cueball: You're being stalked by an unstoppable robotic assassin!
- [Close up of Cueball's head.]
- Cueball: Of course, in a sense, we're all being stalked by an unstoppable robot.
- Cueball: A robot called time.
- [Cueball looking at a clock.]
- Cueball: I see it in the mirror. I see wrinkles, grey hairs.
- Cueball: I hear its metallic footsteps in the relentless rhythm of the ticking clock.
- [Cueball reaches out to Megan.]
- Cueball: Anyway, uhh - come with me if you want to live for a while.
- Cueball: You'll still die eventually.
- Cueball: We all will.