Workshop Wednesday

We're finishing up the fourth episode today, and we get a nice little action sequence to cap it all off. Good group dynamics, some fun interchanges, and superhero action. What more could you ask for?

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 3

"Legal Pain" Concluded

FADE IN.

INT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, BACK HALLWAY, NIGHT.

FOLLOWER and TEMP have a gun on them while they kneel in the hallway.

ROBBER 1:

What are you two doing here?

TEMP:

We, uh-

FOLLOWER:

Gosh, I'm sorry! We were so scared and-

ROBBER 1:

Tryin' to escape! Get back in the lobby!

INT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, MAIN LOBBY, NIGHT.

ROBBER 1 pushes FOLLOWER into the main lobby with the butt of his gun. TEMP follows. Both are shoved over to a group of hostages, all of whom are cowering by the counter, eyes down. ROBBER 1 walks over to robber 2 (STEVE), his gun still trained on the hostages.

ROBBER 1:

I found those two trying to escape.

ROBBER 2 looks over.

ROBBER 2:

Who was supposed to be guarding the hostages?!

Everyone looks over at robber 3 (GUS).

GUS:

I was! I did! I've had my eyes on them the whole time!

STEVE:

Damn it, GUS! Clearly you didn't!

GUS:

I thought we weren't supposed to use our real names, STEVE!

STEVE:

Damn it, GUS! They wouldn't have known those were our real names if you hadn't SAID anything!

GUS:

Sorry...

STEVE walks over to ROBBER 1. They have a quiet conversation.

STEVE:

Did you hire him?

ROBBER 1:

Yeah, sorry, he's my wife's cousin.

STEVE:

Would she be said if he didn't make it home?

ROBBER 1:

...Maybe.

EXT: CITY STREETS, NIGHT.

APATHY cruises down the road in his ill-gotten van, listening to tunes. Eventually the radio clicks over to a talk break.

FINK (V.O.):

So that bank heist is still going on downtown.

SPARKY (V.O.):

Really? Didn't the cops show up?

APATHY nods at this, assured he doesn't have to do anything.

FINK (V.O.):

Not just the cops, but a superhero, too.

APATHY:

Oh, no.

SPARKY (V.O.):

Which one?

APATHY:

Don't say it.

FINK (V.O.):

That new guy. Calls himself "the Follower".

APATHY:

Crap.

SPARKY (V.O.):

I like that guy. He seems pretty great.

FINK (V.O.):

Maybe, but it's been an hour since he was seen heading into the building and there's still no sign of him.

APATHY:

Damn it.

SPARKY (V.O.):

Well, hopefully he's okay...

APATHY turns off the radio. He drives down the road in silence for a long moment before, finally, pulling a U-turn and driving off in the other direction.

INT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, MAIN LOBBY, NIGHT.

TEMP moves closer to FOLLOWER and whispers to him.

TEMP:

So now what?

FOLLOWER:

Well, we've gotten to the hostages. Now we just have to wait for some kind of distraction. Then we'll make our move and disarm the bad guys. Easy.

TEMP just stares at him.

TEMP:

A distraction.

FOLLOWER nods.

TEMP:

This is your plan?

FOLLOWER:

Usually works well.

TEMP:

What, you want me to fake an illness? I could say I have Ebola.

FOLLOWER:

No, that's too specific.

TEMP just gives him a sarcastic look. FOLLOWER doesn't notice it.

FOLLOWER:

I'm not even certain how you'd convincingly fake the liquefying of your internal organs or the bleeding from every orifice. Plus then we'd have to get others in the bank to fake it as well. It's much easier to go with a simple stomach cramp.

TEMP closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

TEMP:

I'm not faking a stomach cramp.

FOLLOWER:

Oh, I wouldn't have you do it. I'll do it, you just have to react and yell for help.

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, EVENING.

APATHY pulls up in his van, gets out and walks over to the police line.

COP:

You need to stay behind the line.

APATHY:

It's okay, I'm a superhero.

COP looks him up and down.

COP:

Yeah, right. What's your name then, hero?

APATHY:

Uhhh...

COP:

Back behind the line.

APATHY shrugs and goes back over to his van. He stares off at the bank, thinks for a bit, and then opens up the back of his van. He pulls out a portable amp and guitar, then heads off around the bank, looking for a gap in the perimeter.

INT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, MAIN LOBBY, NIGHT.

FOLLOWER is checking the goons, keeping an eye on their placement around the bank.

FOLLOWER:

Okay, I think this is our best chance.

TEMP:

If you say so.

FOLLOWER shakes his hands and blows out his lips, trying to get into character.

FOLLOWER:

Now, let me just-

SFX: Wailing guitar riff.

At that moment we hear a loud guitar riff blasting into the bank. All the goons spin around, trying to find the direction of the music. FOLLOWER, seeing his chance, stands up and runs at STEVE. He barrels into the guy, knocking him down and out. He then skids along the side of the counter and rolls down to near ROBBER 1.

After a beat to catch his breath, FOLLOWER sticks his head over, then ducks back behind as a gun blast rips apart the counter where his head had been.

FOLLOWER:

NOW, TEMP!

TEMP looks confused.

TEMP:

Now, what?

This is enough of a distraction, though, and FOLLOWER comes out around the counter and takes ROBBER 1's legs out from under him. A quick punch to his face takes out ROBBER 1, and that's two of the three down.

FOLLOWER stands slowly and looks over at GUS. GUS gets a worried look on his face, then throws down his gun.

GUS:

I didn't even want to do this job!

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, EVENING.

FOLLOWER pushes the main door of the bank open, slowly. The hostages come pouring out, and then the cops run up and come in. FOLLOWER and TEMP emerge, and then they walk down the side of the building towards the sound of the music.

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL PLAZA, EVENING.

APATHY is just grooving away, wailing on his guitar, as FOLLOWER and TEMP walk up.

FOLLOWER:

That was a good distraction.

APATHY stops playing.

APATHY:

What?

FOLLOWER:

Your music. That was a good distraction. Inspired.

APATHY looks down at his axe.

APATHY:

Oh, I was just bored and felt like playing.

FOLLOWER:

It wasn't your idea of a distraction? Help us out against the robbers?

APATHY:

I assumed you'd just go with a stomach cramp. It's your go-to.

TEMP walks up.

TEMP:

I'm Janine.

APATHY:

I'm... still working on my name.

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, NIGHT.

All three heroes walk up to the bank area as reporters swarm. MALOY comes up, bristling with anger.

MALOY:

You three are under arrest! Do you realize how many laws you violated! Putting all those people at risk.

APATHY:

You mean saving all the hostages in the bank without anyone getting shot?

APATHY stares the cop down. MALOY turns and looks as the reporters all quietly film the exchange.

MALOY:

I... uhm... I mean... we'll just... Good work. I...

The reporters push past MALOY and starts yelling questions at FOLLOWER. APATHY and TEMP move off.

TEMP:

Why don't you have a name?

APATHY:

I'm being sued. Can't use the name "Apathy Man" right now.

TEMP:

So? Pick something else. Who are you?

APATHY:

Just some guy.

TEMP:

Yeah, but. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you want to be?

APATHY:

I'm apathetic.

TEMP:

Then just be that. It's not taken, is it?

APATHY:

What? Apathetic? I... don't know.

TEMP:

Then grab it before someone else does.

APATHY nods.

APATHY:

Thanks.

TEMP checks her watch.

TEMP:

And that's time. My shift is over. Expect a bill in a couple of days.

APATHY:

Cool. Thanks.

TEMP walks off, hailing a cab. APATHY loads his guitar into his van, then pauses and looks back.

APATHY:

What bill?

FADE OUT.

CREDIT ROLL.

End Episode 4, Part 3:

And with that we finish up episode four. Not to worry, Temp will return soon. She's not officially part of the team just yet, but I'm sure she'll get sucked in permanently one of these days. Then I just have to have her share some scenes with Black Cat and suddenly the series passes the Bechdel Test.

I have one more episode partially written after this, so we'll pick up with that next week. One more, three-section story, and then Follower will wrap up, at least for a little while. So come back next week for the final, thrilling adventure. Same Follower Time, Same Follower Channel.