Workshop Wednesday

Here we are with part two of this fourth episode, and this is the first section of The Follower that's completely brand new. I'm making this stuff up on the fly at this point and, honestly, I'm rather enjoying it. It's good to be back with these characters after a very long break.

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 2

"Legal Pain" Continued

FADE IN.

INT: CITY STREETS, FOLLOWER VAN, EVENING.

We see FOLLOWER driving through the streets, TEMP sitting in the passenger seat looking worried and confused.

TEMP:

Where are we headed?

FOLLOWER:

Eighth National Bank. There's a robbery in progress.

TEMP:

Why are we headed there?

FOLLOWER:

You heard the report on the police scanner.

TEMP:

Is this what your app does? Are you developing something for private security?

FOLLOWER:

App? What app?

TEMP:

The one that you're developing in your loft!

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, EVENING.

We already see a number of police cars out front, lights blinking and illuminated the building. The cops are all out around their cars, guns drawn and aimed at the bank. The Follower van pulls up just as TEMP finishes asking her question. Before she can get a response FOLLOWER jumps out of the vehicle and runs over to the cops, specifically the guys in charge, SGT. MALOY. TEMP slowly walks up eventually.

FOLLOWER:

Officers, it seems we have a disturbance.

SGT. MALOY rolls his eyes.

MALOY:

Great, a super.

FOLLOWER:

Oh, we're all heroes here, men. Now, what's going on?

OFFICER:

There are four men in the bank and they have eight hostages, including the bank managers and a teller.

SGT. MALOY cuts him off.

MALOY:

We have this covered, you can go home.

FOLLOWER, though, has already turned away and is dodging down the row of police cars.

FOLLOWER:

Come, TEMP!

MALOY:

Hey! Get back here!

INT: LATE NIGHT VIDEO, EVENING.

OBVIOUS is moving around the store, putting away videos. APATHY pops a soda and lounges against the counter.

OBVIOUS:

You are going to pay for that.

APATHY:

Why? Perk of the job, man.

OBVIOUS:

My job, not yours. And why are you lingering here. Couldn't you go out and do something?

APATHY:

Lawyer told me-

OBVIOUS:

He said you weren't supposed to be a hero right now. He didn't say anything about maliciously lingering in my store.

APATHY:

I like it here. It's quiet.

At this moment a family comes into the store. The kids run down the aisles, knocking videos off the shelves and making a big mess why the adults ignore them. Typical customers. OBVIOUS looks over at the family and sighs.

OBVIOUS:

Well, since you're here, man, why not help me tidy up?

He looks over just as APATHY is exiting out the other door.

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL, SIDE ALLEY, EVENING.

FOLLOWER darts down an alley, scoping the building.

FOLLOWER:

It looks like there's an access ladder latched up there. If I can just toss a brick of something at it, I might be able to dislodge the lever.

TEMP:

Is this research? For your app?

FOLLOWER:

No. This is what we do.

TEMP:

This isn't some kind of thrill-seeking app, is it?

FOLLOWER:

No thrill in this, TEMP. You should know that.

TEMP:

I should?

FOLLOWER:

Us heroes aren't in this for thrills or fame. We do it because the city needs protecting.

FOLLOWER finds a brick and starts testing its weight.

TEMP:

Hero? (pause) What kind of temp worker did you ask for?!

INT: FOLLOWER'S APARTMENT, DAY, EARLIER.

We see FOLLOWER on the phone, talking to someone.

FOLLOWER:

Yes I need a- (pause) Replacement, yes. (pause) For the- (pause) Well, he mostly just sits around and watches us while we- (pause) I don't know if he can type, but maybe that could be use-

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL, SIDE ALLEY, EVENING.

TEMP looks non plussed while FOLLOWER aims at the ladder.

TEMP:

Maybe you should have specified a temp superhero!

FOLLOWER pauses and looks over at her.

FOLLOWER:

Do you guys have those?

TEMP:

Well, no. Not explicitly.

FOLLOWER goes back to aiming.

FOLLOWER:

There you go, then. I'm sure you're the best fit for the job.

TEMP:

But I'm not even remotely qualified!

FOLLOWER chucks the brick and it travels with perfect aim, hitting the lever. The ladder quickly drops, clattering against the wall and it comes to rest within reach of the heroes.

FOLLOWER:

You want to take the lead?

TEMP looks down at her skirt, then back at FOLLOWER.

TEMP:

You go first.

INT: TAVERN, NIGHT.

We see APATHY back at the bar, watching sports while sipping on a beer. The BARTENDER comes over to check on him.

BARTENDER:

You need anything over here?

APATHY looks down at the bowl in front of him.

APATHY:

Maybe some more pretzels.

BARTENDER:

Hey, I know you, right?

APATHY:

I don't know? You a fan of the grunge rock scene?

BARTENDER:

What? No. Aren't you that hero?

APATHY:

Oh. Right.

BARTENDER:

Yeah, that is you. Lethargic Guy, right?

APATHY:

APATHY.

BARTENDER:

No, that's not right. What was it.

APATHY:

APATHY. The name is-

BARTENDER:

Disinterested guy.

APATHY sighs.

APATHY:

Sure.

BARTENDER:

Man, that's so cool. A real hero in my bar.

APATHY:

This mean my drink is on the house?

BARTENDER:

Why would it be on the house?

APATHY gives him a look. At this moment the TV channel is interrupted by news.

SFX: News special report.

LOCKWOOD:

I'm CONNOR LOCKWOOD.

SPENCER:

And I'm ABIGAIL SPENDER.

LOCKWOOD:

And this is a Channel 6 special report. The Eighth National bank currently sits in the middle of what appears to be a war zone. Robbers took over the bank only minutes ago and now the police have it surrounded.

SPENCER:

Not just police, CONNOR, but superheroes, too.

We see on the TV a shot of FOLLOWER and TEMP talking to MALOY before running off.

BARTENDER:

Hey, isn't that one of your friends at the bank?

BARTENDER looks over at APATHY.

APATHY:

Yep.

BARTENDER:

Dude, isn't this where you get up and run out the door, forgetting to pay your tab? That always happens in movies.

APATHY:

I'm sure he's fine.

BARTENDER gives him a look.

APATHY:

What? I'm not supposed to be fighting crime right now.

BARTENDER:

Bum leg?

APATHY:

I'm being sued for trademark infringement.

BARTENDER:

Seriously?!

APATHY:

That's what I said!

BARTENDER:

No, I mean you're going to let something petty like that stop you from your calling?

APATHY:

Well, actually my calling is a cherry Fender in my-

BARTENDER:

Man, and to think I called you a "hero".

He walks off in a huff. APATHY just stares at his beer. He takes a long pull then goes back to watching the game. Eventually he looks over at the BARTENDER, who gives him a really mean look.

APATHY:

Jeez! Fine! I'm going!

APATHY gets up and starts to saunter out the door.

EXT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, ROOFTOP, NIGHT.

FOLLOWER is exploring the roof, checking for any dangers TEMP eventually climbs up. FOLLOWER gives her a complicated signal and then dodges down the rooftop towards the door leading into the bank. TEMP gives him a look, the just coolly walks after him.

FOLLOWER kneels by the door and quietly tests the lock. It gives easily, and the door squeaks open.

TEMP:

So, what's the plan?

FOLLOWER gives her a pained look and motions for her to speak quieter?

TEMP:

Sorry. What's the plan?

FOLLOWER:

Well, we're going to quietly head down the stairs and sneak into one of the back offices. The robbers should all be focused on the main lobby, keeping the hostages under control and the police at bay. Once we can look inside and have the lay of the land, we should be able to stop the bad guys.

TEMP:

How?

FOLLOWER:

What?

TEMP:

How? What are your super powers?

FOLLOWER:

I'm sorry?

TEMP:

What can you do!?

FOLLOWER:

Well, I have a red belt in taekwondo, and I've also studied a smattering of judo and aikido. I'm also CPR certified, and-

TEMP:

Don't you have any super powers? Do you shoot beams out of your hands, like the Protector?

FOLLOWER:

No.

TEMP:

Are you preternaturally lucky, like Lady Luck?

FOLLOWER:

You know, I met her once. Really classy lady. She totally didn't yell at me when I spilled pizza sauce on her.

TEMP:

So you're not lucky?

FOLLOWER:

Sadly, no. But she did still tip, if that counts.

TEMP:

Then what can you do?

FOLLOWER:

Well, as I said, I have a red belt-

TEMP:

So we're going to punch the bad guys?

FOLLOWER:

Taekwondo is really more about kicks and leg strikes-

TEMP:

What about guns?

FOLLOWER:

Oh, I'm sure they're armed, yes.

TEMP:

No, for us.

FOLLOWER:

I don't carry weapons. I'm not here to kill the bad guys. That would make me just like them.

TEMP:

You're not seriously going to go down there armed with just punches and kicks!?

FOLLOWER:

Again, point of fact, it's mostly kicks-

TEMP:

Are you nuts?

FOLLOWER:

I guess we'll find out.

FOLLOWER then dodges down the stairs. TEMP looks around, not sure what to do, then she quietly follows.

INT: EIGHTH NATIONAL BANK, BACK HALLWAY, NIGHT.

FOLLOWER slowly pushes open a door and peers out, looking for bad guys. He then comes out, crouched down to keep his profile low, and starts mooching his way down the hall. Eventually, TEMP follows. They make their way to an intersection, then he makes a motion and then both turn the corner. Standing there in front of them is ROBBER 1, gun aimed down at them.

TEMP:

Good plan, there, chief.

FADE OUT.

COMMERCIAL BREAK.

End Episode 4, Part 2:

This inspiration for this episode comes from the fact that after I originally dreamed up The Follower (along with my brother-in-law Dave, who also co-created the first edition of my RPG, There's a Game in this Book), I sat on it for a while. Once I got back to the characters and had time to write, I discovered that, in the interim, someone else had starts using a character Online called "Apathy Man". I didn't want to change my character's name but I also knew, one way or another, I'd have to address it. Seemed best to just yank that band-aid off as quick as possible.

The interactions between Temp and Follower had to be changed here from what I originally envisioned (and jotted down in my notes). Follower was originally dreamed up as a really dumb and naive guy which was super funny right up until I started watching The Tick and saw that the shtick had already been done. I had to tone that down and just go with something more oblivious and confused. I think it works but it does require me rewiring my brain a bit for this character. Temp, though, I think is coming into focus nicely. Now I just need more ladies on the show for her to interact with (to pass the Bechdel Test).

Obviously we still have one more section of this episode to go, so tune back in next week. Same Follower Time, Same Follower Channel.