Nap Lapkin: Terminated (conclusion)
Present Nap leapt into action and almost ran into the other two Naps leaping into action.
James Cameron did not leap into action. He leapt under his desk. He, of course, might argue that in some sense that should be considered leaping into action as it incorporates both leaping and action but given he had four secret agents in his office he wasn’t going to find many supporters of this opinion.
“You two deal with the cyborgs, I’ll get Madonna out of the building safely” said Present Nap.
“I was just about to say the same thing” said new old Nap.
“No, he’s right new old Nap. We’ve both dealt with them before. It would be more prudent to make sure Madonna is looked after” argued the old old Nap.
“Since when do I say prudent?” said Present Nap.
“I couldn’t think of the word I really wanted to say” explained old old Nap.
Sensing a burst of unnecessary dialogue Madonna grabbed Present Nap and made for the stairwell. As they started down the stairs she asked Nap the following;” What do you think James Cameron was going to say?”
“Who knows? Want to know what I think?”
Madonna thought about it for a second. “No. Absolutely not.”
Somewhere around the twentieth floor they heard what sounded like a series of small explosions.
“I hope I’m ok” said Nap.
“They’ll be fine. They’re you” Madonna said in a consolatory tone. “Ok, tell me what you think.”
“Every new me tells a slightly different story about the future. I don’t think it really matters what we do or don’t do. Destiny isn’t real. The future is what you make it.”
It wasn’t until about the fifth floor that Madonna responded. Sounds like a long time but both of these characters are in top shape so each floor took only a few seconds.
“I figured you’d think something like that” she said after only a few seconds. They reached the ground floor and burst forth into a chaotic lobby. People were yelling and crying and running in all directions. The smell of smoke hung in the air.
“Myself” continued Madonna when they were finally able to get out to the street, “I like the idea of a Multiverse. Every decision creating a new branch of reality.”
“Like this decision?” Nap said as he pushed Madonna out of the way of a large desk that had popped out of the building somewhere far above their heads, made its way to the sidewalk in a hurry and then smashed into what appeared to be a hundred pieces of wood. Pens flew everywhere.
“Saving my life isn’t a decision. It’s a moral imperative” said Madonna with a wink.
“You know better than anyone I have no morals. Well, I’d better tuck you away in one of these little bodegas and go back and check on myselves.”
“Do you have to Nap?”
“It’s a moral imperative” he chuckled, and with that he gave her a shove and ran back in the direction of the desk-spewing building.
Nap found Nap and Nap in the lobby, leaning against a wall looking like they didn’t have a care in the world.
“Where are the robo bad guys?” he asked.
“You’re never going to believe it” said new old Nap. “Remember when I said my kid was a bit of a disappointment? I guess I was wrong.” His face was glowing with the closest thing that he’d ever felt to pride… that didn’t involve himself.
“All he did was play virtual computer games all day and night. I guess somewhere along the way he learned a bit more than I gave him credit for. He must have hacked into the artificial intelligent just as they were sending back the cyborgs.”
The other Nap, clearly feeling a bit proud of what technically could be called his son, jumped in. “You should have seen it, one minute they were blazing away with automatic weapons and the next they started singing and dancing. Then they started smoking and melting. It was both amazing and disturbing.”
“I hope he knew how much I’d appreciate it” new old Nap said.
“You realize he hasn’t been born yet right?” Present Nap pointed out. “You could literally write him a letter and have it waiting for him.”
“Actually, now he won’t ever be born … unless this old version of you has sex with Madonna… and even then it’s doubtful you can hand a baby a letter thanking him for something that he’ll never actually do.”
Old new Nap stopped talking when he realized he was so confused that he had no idea what the next words out of his mouth would be.
“So what’s next for you guys” asked Nap. “Didn’t the hero from The Terminator lower himself into lava to avoid creating awkward sexual tension for the people living in the present? Loose ends and such.”
Neither Nap looked like they appreciated the insinuation.
“Well if you must know” said the older of the two older Naps, “I have a screen test with Mr. Cameron in the morning. Then I’ll be taking care of that little assignment with the talk shows hosts we discussed earlier.”
“Don’t worry present-day Nap, I won’t hang around. The globe’s big enough for me to disappear somewhere” said the other older Nap.
“One more question” said Present Nap, “What song were the cyborgs singing?”
Older old Nap laughed. “It’s how I knew it was the work of my son. It’s Madonna’s favorite song.”
“No wonder it made such an impression. What I wouldn’t give to have been there to see ten cyborgs that look like Lou Ferrigno singing Work Bitch (by Britney Spears)” Nap said. And let out a long peel of laughter. “Madonna will love that.”
She did love that. Nap and Madonna sat at a table at a nearby restaurant and recapped the last twenty four hours over several bottles of wine.
“So the machines may or may not take over some time in the future, the question is how do we stop it?” asked Madonna.
“No, the question is, do we want to try?” said Nap. “It seems like we do more harm than good when we try to fix the future. Why don’t we just relax and go about our normal lives and see what’s happens.”
“You think we lead normal lives?” laughed Madonna.
“For us anyway…” Nap said as he opened another bottle.
“So…” started Madonna, obviously building up to something important, “it appears that when you get older you fall in love with me. You’re willing to travel back in time for me. Are we going to put that on the table?” She was staring at him coyly.
“Anything is possible” replied Nap nonchalantly, “The Multiverse and whatnot.”
“That’s all you’re going to say? You’re going to let me marry some other guy again before you realize that you’re in love with me?” Madonna appeared both amused and disappointed so Nap leaned over and scooped up her hand in his.
“You’re the only one of you. If it’s meant to be it will be.”
Somewhere in an unnecessarily shadowy office in Washington, a man sat behind an enormous desk and his enormous phone began to ring.
Three of them?”
He put down the phone.