Monday, November 25, 2013

Chapter 22

Chapter 22

Kaplan wandered.

He really wasn’t sure what to do after losing his Chosen One companion to an evil Cult. He had figured out where Nicolas Cage’s as it turned out not so secret lair was. Everyone knew where he was staying. There was a big sign that offered tours to Nicolas Cage’s house. There was even a gate with a giant “N” and “C” on it, and it was surrounded by very obvious large men that didn’t look like they had much of a sense of humor and were heavily armed. 

It was kind of disappointing, actually. He’d hoped for more secrecy, more of a challenge, but it was extremely obvious. That and losing Mars sort of put Kaplan in a bit of a funk. It made it difficult to enjoy the body shots he had taken right after finding the Lair. Of course, he really, really tried.

So, completely out of ideas, he decided to wander. Finally giving up, he sat down on a park bench and tried to think. Of course there was the direct route: He could storm Nicolas Cage’s not really secret Lair. In any event he’d go down in a blaze of glory. That might not help the world so much. They would still end up with a demon army taking it over. 

Then there was the other option of doing nothing. Here was the thing about doing nothing: It earned a bad rap. But as Kaplan knew, doing nothing at times could be pretty effective. Not because it was going to help, but sometimes things often came out into the open when doing nothing. 

Unfortunately in this case, doing nothing was both an excellent idea, and a terrible idea all wrapped up into one idea twister. It was an excellent idea because while Kaplan was trying to figure everything out, Nicolas Cage was being interviewed by the pretty blonde that Kaplan kept seeing on advertisements all over for Action Action News.  While Kaplan didn’t know this was taking place, it would provide Kaplan with a momentary breach in security, thus allowing him to sneak into the Cage Compound.

First, of course, he’d have to be chased by Elizabeth, who spotted him on the bench a few minutes ago. He was so lost in thought, a condition that he hadn’t suffered in a while, that he didn’t notice her start to gather her army of white and red robed cult followers. 

“Hello, Kaplan,” Elizabeth said, approaching his position. 

“Hey, Elizabeth,” Kaplan said as he’d said about thirty or so times while lost in thought at the Comic Book Shop. 

“So... are you going to come peacefully, or are you going to come kicking and screaming.”

Kaplan was still lost in thought, “Kicking and screaming of course.” 

This was the moment he finally came to his senses, and realized he was surrounded by a bunch of guys wearing heavy robes in New Orelans. 

“Look, I’m all for a dress code but really? You don’t want to let them take the robes off for a second?” Kaplan asked.

“It’s part of the uniform. And the sacrifice we all make when we decide to truly honor and worship the Cage,” one of the random people in robes said. 

Kaplan nodded thoughtfully, and assessed the situation. He figured he’d pull the hood of the smaller person in the robe - he thought it was a woman but wasn’t going to make any assumptions. Why weren’t these robes sexier? Once he/she was blinded, he’d punch out the person to his left who was much larger. Then he could make a mad dash into that nearby passing crowd of people. 

It was a genius plan, one that only took three seconds of awkward staring into space to come together.

He put it into action. Grabbing the hood of the smaller person, he yanked it down, ripping it off in his hand and revealing that the person staring at him was, in fact, a woman. Kind of good looking, if she wasn’t staring at him in horror/anger. The price of the hoods probably came out of her paycheck.

That part may not have worked, but he decided to continue his plan by taking a wild, random swing to the person at his left. The last time Kaplan managed to punch someone out he was drunk at a bar. For some reason the alcohol actually managed to enhance his coordination, and he connected perfectly with the guy’s chin, knocking him to the ground and earning cheers from everyone around him.

This was nothing like that.

He swung wildly, still holding the piece of robe in his hand, missing the larger person (who later turned out to be a woman, too) completely, and stumbling forward.

“Wait, let me come up with another plan. I think I can do better,” Kaplan said, his arms now held by the larger woman and the now hoodless attractive woman.

When Elizabeth found Kaplan sitting on the park bench, she sent a message that any Cult members in the area come to her aid. Had she not been so willing to prove herself, she might have been able to prevent what happened next.

Six Cult members surrounded Kaplan on his bench. Two in front, two on the sides, and two behind him, with their backs to Elizabeth. This was important, as the robes of the people standing in front of Elizabeth weren’t exactly up to the usual standards of cleanliness that the Cult of Cage members were expected to maintain. So, when Evie turned around an punched Elizabeth in the jaw, and Nathara pulled out her service revolver, everyone was surprised. Including Kaplan, who put his hands up along with the others.

“Put your hands down, Kaplan,” Evie said, shaking her hand. Punching someone wasn’t as cool as she originally thought.

Kaplan complied. “Evie! You’re not in prison! That’s great!”

“There was doubt?”

“Look, I love reunions as much as the next person, but I think we should go,” Nathara said.

Kaplan and Evie turned their heads in unison. A car carrying at least three more Cult of Cage members came around the corner. The three future saviors of the planet quickly ran.

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