Workshop Wednesday

We're not heading into uncharted territory. While the first three episodes were complete (even if I had to do a fresh editing pass on them before posting here), the next two episodes were only partially written. These adventures are essentially as new to me as they are to you, so it'll be fun to see where the heroes go for here. It's time for some "Legal Pain" as Follower Episode 4 begins.

Remember to catch up on the previous adventures of The Follower in the Works of Mike FinkelsteinWhat's that, you want to read various creative works from Asteroid G Lead Editor Mike Finkelstein? Well, if that's what you want... archive before reading this section.

The Follower: Episode 4, Part 1

"Legal Pain"

FADE IN.

INT: TAVERN, NIGHT.

The bar is a pretty normal locale, one of those dark but relatively clear establishments that have cropped up to complete with restaurants. Party-type rock music playing. We see the three heroes -- FOLLOWER, APATHY, and OBVIOUS sitting around, drinking, have a good old time.

COMIC BOOK TEXT BOX: Having successfully defeated their first "arch-nemesis," Etiquette Man, the heroes took the liberty of celebrating. For a few hours...

The party rages on through a few scenes of various drinking games, and at one point, someone busts out a lampshade.

SMASH CUT.

INT: FOLLOWER'S APARTMENT, MORNING.

COMIC BOOK TEXT BOX: That next morning.

The place, messy as always, currently sports OBVIOUS passed out on the couch. We see mail pop in from the mail slot in the front door. The BLACK CAT wanders into the frame, goes over to the mail, and flops on it.

COMIC BOOK TEXT BOX: The Black Cat is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics character, the Black Cat.

We hear a groan, and APATHY gets up from behind the couch, stumbles groggily (much like a zombie), then walks over to the mail, shooing the car away. He sifts through the mail, walks to the kitchen, sifts through the dirty dishes for a marginally cleaner mug, then starts up some coffee.

We watch as he opens a bit of mail and reads it.

APATHY:

The hell?! I'm getting sued! What the f-

OPENING CREDITS.

INT: FOLLOWER'S APARTMENT, MORNING.

APATHY:

I mean, seriously, what the hell is this?!

FOLLOWER emerges from his bedroom. OBVIOUS sits up, groggily, on the couch.

OBVIOUS:

Mfghsh?

FOLLOWER:

What's the yelling about? Is something the matter?

APATHY:

Uh, yeah! I'm getting sued.

OBVIOUS has managed to make it to the coffee machine by now, and has poured a tall one off the pot. After a long pull he seems better.

FOLLOWER:

Who's suing you?

APATHY:

Some guy out in Detroit. Apparently he's been going by the moniker of "Apathy Man" for a quite some time now. He saw the news of our success, and immediately filed a case again me for use of the name.

OBVIOUS:

Well that doesn't seem very apathetic.

APATHY:

Totally.

FOLLOWER:

Well what should we do?

OBVIOUS:

We should seek legal assistance on the matter. I haven't studied nearly enough law to know the rules on this.

APATHY:

I vote we just ignore it.

FOLLOWER:

We can't do that. You could get in serious trouble.

APATHY:

Eh, worrying about it takes effort. I'd rather just sit back and do nothing.

OBVIOUS:

And while that is well within your character, and currently chosen moniker, I don't think that'd be the very best course of action.

APATHY:

Look, just let the dude use the name. I'll just... go by something else.

OBVIOUS:

Like what? The Uncaring One?

FOLLOWER:

Can't. That's taken.

OBVIOUS:

Really?

FOLLOWER:

Yeah, he's up at Sunny Glen. He's doing a long stint for bank robbery. Etiquette and I put him there.

APATHY:

Uncaring my ass. Sounds like he cared enough to try and rob a bank.

OBVIOUS:

You should give him lessons in listlessness then. But that will have to wait. We need to clear up this legal issue.

APATHY:

Fine, but if I have to go through with this, we're taking my van.

FOLLOWER:

But... what if a crime happens? We should ride in the Follower Mobile.

OBVIOUS:

It's not the most comfortable ride and, if you remember, it has bullet holes. It's not exactly street legal.

FOLLOWER:

(sigh) Okay.

APATHY:

So, let's go pick out a lawyer.

We get a Sam Raimi/Edgar Wright-style montage of quick cuts, single movements, and single sound effects. APATHY opens a drawer, pulls out a phone book. He shoves dishes off the counter. He slams the book down, flips open a page, randomly points to a lawyer: RUDY PANTALONI, Attorney at Law.

SFX: Phone dialing.

SMASH CUT.

INT: OFFICES OF PANTALONI AND ASSOC., LAWYER'S OFFICE, DAY.

The three heroes flop down into chairs in front of PANTALONI. He's reading the letter, checking out the legal mumbo-jumbo.

PANTALONI:

Well, this seems pretty cut and dried, honestly.

APATHY:

Awesome! Thank you!

PANTALONI:

Yeah, you have to stop using the name.

APATHY:

What?!

PANTALONI:

It's infringement, mister...?

APATHY:

APATHY.

PANTALONI:

Not according to this letter. This Apathy Man has been going by that specific moniker for over eight years, if the details in this complaint are correct. Obviously I'll research it to verify the claims, but assuming his facts hold up, you can't use the name. If you do you'd be in violation.

OBVIOUS:

There isn't any recourse?

PANTALONI:

Well, if this other hero has let his identity lapse via such means as using a different moniker or retiring for the life for at least eighteen months, then a case could be made of identity abandonment. Again, I would have to do my research.

APATHY:

Identity abandonment?

PANTALONI:

Established in 1972 in the case of Silver Sentries v Sentries. Two groups used the same team name and the later made the case, which stuck, that the Silver Sentries had abandoned their name when their group had dissolved in the months prior.

APATHY:

Right, so... I just need to choose a different name.

PANTALONI:

I wouldn't advise that, actually. Any crime fighting activities at this juncture could be viewed as subverting the rule of law. While this case is hanging over your head I'm afraid you cannot be a hero.

APATHY takes a beat.

APATHY:

Awesome. Vacation time.

FOLLOWER:

No, but you need to go on patrol with us.

APATHY:

No can do, chief. I have to be a man of leisure.

FOLLOWER looks crestfallen.

FOLLOWER:

I guess it's just two of us for patrol tonight, then.

OBVIOUS:

Actually, I have a shift at the video store tonight.

FOLLOWER:

I can't go on patrol on my own!

APATHY:

Hey man, you've known plenty of other supers. Can't you, like, find a temp or something?

FOLLOWER thinks about it.

INT: FOLLOWER'S APARTMENT, DAY.

Then we get another Wright-style montage as FOLLOWER pulls open the same drawer and pulls out the same phone book. He shoves BLACK CAT off the counter. He slams the book down, flips open a page, randomly points to a page.

SFX: Phone dialing.

SMASH CUT.

We see FOLLOWER's front door.

SFX: Door bell.

FOLLOWER opens the door to reveal the TEMP (aka, Janine). She's out in the hall in proper, business attire, briefcase in her hand.

TEMP:

Hello, I'm Janine Jones, the temporary assistance you've requested for the day.

FOLLOWER reaches out and shakes her hand.

FOLLOWER:

Great to meet you. We've got a lot to do to prepare for tonight.

TEMP:

Tonight?

FOLLOWER:

Big plans. Now that the city knows we're on patrol, have to step up our game.

TEMP:

Patrol?

FOLLOWER:

Hope you came prepared.

TEMP:

I... yes. Just point to your computer and we can get started on whatever tasks you need.

FOLLOWER:

Oooh, a computer expert? We haven't had one of those on the team before. OBVIOUS usually just reads the paper.

TEMP looks around the disgusting apartment.

TEMP:

Is this some kind of start-up?

FOLLOWER:

Well, we're a fairly new team, sure, but I've been an established player for a few years now.

TEMP:

A new venture, then. Excellent, I can work with that. How would you-

SFX: Police radio noises.

COP (V.O.):

All units, we have a 211 in progress, Eighth National at Montgomery and Winchester.

FOLLOWER:

Come, TEMP! We have to run!

TEMP:

Run?

FOLLOWER:

To the FOLLOWER MOBILE!

FOLLOWER runs out the door, leaving TEMP alone in the apartment. BLACK CAT wanders over and flops by her feet.

COMIC BOOK TEXT BOX: The Black Cat is in no way associated with the Marvel Comics character, the Black Cat.

TEMP:

Mostly I just handle Microsoft Office.

FOLLOWER (Off Screen):

TEMP! The elevator is waiting!

TEMP stands, smooths down her skirt, picks up her case, and primly walks out the door.

FADE OUT.

COMMERCIAL BREAK.

End Episode 4, Part 1:

And that's it for the complete scripts for the series. I have two more partially written, so my plan right now to is to take those scripts and finish them -- we'll see how that goes.

The reason those scripts aren't done is that the original plan was that we (my friends and I) would co-write a bunch of these scripts to put together the first season. Then, since we were all radio people, we'd record the audio for a couple of the scripts, create a few animated storyboards for those tracks, and then pack it all together to try and sell it to a production company to become a series. Sadly, I was the only one to ever finish any of the scripts and the project died from there. The two partials were scripts I was going to co-write, but that never happens so they just sit there, sad and undone.

I want to get those two scripts completed at least. After that I'll likely post the notes for the season plan we had in place before moving on to a different project entirely. I have a few other things I've written over time that I really want to post here. We shall see where it takes us.