Car chases were not supposed to be this boring, Kaplan thought as they slowly wheeled their way down Bourbon Street. Of course, car chases weren’t supposed to happen down heavily populated roads. Maybe a fruit stand got knocked over. That was about it.
Somewhere along the line, the police and the Action Action News Van managed to get involved in the action. Nathara, whom Kaplan just met and apparently at one point had arrested Evie, was certain she knew where to go. Kaplan, who just heard from the radio the Action Action News Exclusive (Thus justifying turning it on, despite Evie’s complaints) that Nicolas Cage was shooting his “take over the world” ritual tonight, and figured that they should get there. That meant not running over all these people, of course.
Hamlet slept in the back. Had he known what he had to do later, he could justify it as resting up for his big duty. But for right now, he was just justifying it because he’s a cat.
At some point, Elizabeth and her group as well as Kaplan and his group had tried getting out of their cars, only to be pushed back in by revelers.
“This is pointless,” Nathara said, honking the horn, frustrated.
Kaplan reached back and grabbed one of the enchanted swords.
“I’ve been meaning to ask, where did you get those?” Evie asked.
“James Franco’s secret house in Tennessee.”
“You met James Franco?”
“That’s your question?” Nathara asked.
“What should I ask?” Evie responded.
“You fought off a demon on your way to stop Nicolas Cage from taking over the world, and your question is whether or not he met James Franco instead of whatever James Franco had to do with this whole thing?”
“At some point, you just sort of have to accept what’s going on. You can’t really fight it or look for logic,” Evie said.
“I’m glad you said that right now,” Kaplan responded.
“Who’s car is this?”
“Mine,” Nathara responded, flashing her high beams at a group of drunken girls. They responded by shouting “woo” and flashing theirs right back.
“Then I’m sorry,” Kaplan said. With one motion, he shoved the enchanted sword through the ceiling.
“THIS IS POLICE ISSUE!” Nathara screamed.
“Well, now you have a sunroof,” Kaplan responded, “Look, Nicolas Cage is starting up the ritual again, tonight, and plans on using most of New Orleans as a shield. We have to get to that ritual point and stop him, now.”
Nathara sighed. She hit the brakes. “Let’s just go.”
“You going to explain this to your Chief?” Evie asked.
Kaplan was the first out of the newly acquired sunroof, followed by Nathara, and finally Evie with Hamlet, who was just waking up. She took one moment to look back to see Nicolas Cage still atop the news van, as well as several angry police officers about to overtake Elizabeth in her cult car.
“Evie, come on!” Kaplan yelled. He was very aware that he’d just appeared out of a car holding a sword. He was sure he looked pretty bad-ass... at least one girl winked... but he was also sure that he wouldn’t look so bad-ass to the police that were rapidly gaining on them.
“Quickly, in here!” Nathara yelled, throwing open a door to the nearest bar.
Nathara’s idea was simple: they’d run into the nearest bar, find some way to quickly change their appearance by throwing on an old shirt or taking something off, and blend in. She’d seen it done a hundred or so times in bars that were sure to be less crowded than freaking Bourbon Street.
Once, she was chasing a simple dine n dash from the Dasher Diner on Main Street. The guy couldn’t have been more than 17, and he was pretty quick. After a few minutes on foot, the kid managed to duck into The Grizzled Duck, a biker bar named after it’s founder Jimmy Duck. The kid found a few discarded items and was able to just walk out the door, past Nathara as if anything happened, and there were only three people in the bar that day. Mostly because no one wanted to go into a Biker Bar named the Grizzled Duck. Regardless, that was a Biker Bar on a Tuesday Night, this was Bourbon Street. It was stuffed with people.
It only took one cursory look to realize that the plan wasn’t going to work. It took another look to realize how screwed they were. And on the third look, they had to wonder if fate was fickle and funny, or a cruel, cruel woman.
As soon as they entered the bar off Bourbon Street, they felt an unnatural coolness. The whole thing was designed to look like a giant cave, and apparently no expense was spared. Torches hung from the sides of the wall, giving the bar most of it’s illumination. Over to one side, a DJ sat spinning loud thumping music while men and women grinded in the drunken stupor, taking in everything that was New Orleans. Because when you were in New Orleans, and Nicolas Cage gets on Action Action News and tells you to come to his exclusive bar that’s usually surrounded by large, burley men designed to keep you out but today it’s not, you show up. You show up and you drink. And when he gets his DJ going, you grind the hell out of some classy hot chick that was in front of you.
Over to their left, around fifty people in red and white robes gathered in a circle, while a woman they never saw before was tied up above a pit of fire. These people did not seem to be having any fun, nor were they grinding. Also, they hadn’t been invited by Nicolas Cage on Action Action News, they were typically there when the ritual was being done. Almost in unison, they stopped and moved their heads toward the directions of the newcomers.
“Hmm.” Kaplan said, slightly lowering his sword, “What are the odds of that?”