Poe and Kyle sat in the back seat of the car as the Man in the Dark Hood sped out of New Orleans. This would be the perfect moment to describe just how the darkness touched the landscape, but sadly, the road out of New Orleans was pretty boring once you were on it. There were lots of trees. Occasionally a car would pass by, and inevitably it would not turn off it’s high beams. As each one did, The Man in the Dark Hood took note of their plate numbers so they could be tracked later, and he could torture them. Ruling the world was going to have quite a fe perks.
Hours earlier Poe and Kyle were just two lowly Cult of Cage members. When Jeff and Dale attempted to stop them, they were just one of the faceless hoards standing around, watching as the two men failed. It was almost as if they didn’t even have names. Now, they were hand picked by The Man in the Dark Hood to go stop the new chosen ones: Mars and Kaplan!
Of course, Poe and Kyle weren’t always Poe and Kyle. The Cult of Cage was very strict: Once you committed yourself to Nicolas Cage (or “The Cage”), you adopted a name from one of the characters in his movies. So it didn’t matter than Poe had graduated top of her class and was on her way to a great career on Wall Street before having a nervous breakdown, meeting Nicolas Cage in a bar and deciding to join his cult. She was now Poe. And it mattered even less that Kyle was the son of a very famous politician who’s politics he disagreed with so he did the one thing that would piss his mom off and joined a cult... he was now Kyle. Their pasts didn’t matter. Only their futures mattered as part of the group that were now going to run the world.
After the Man in the Dark Hood asked for any volunteers and no one raised their hands, Poe and Kyle were chosen. No one raised their hands because they were currently preparing for the third ritual, and there were rumors not only that Nicolas Cage was waivering in his commitment to take over the world, but a bit of a rift had grown between The Cage and the Man in the Dark Hood.
While the Man in the Dark Hood was busy setting up his car for the long trip (he wasn’t going to let anyone else drive it), Poe decided she was going to finally visit The Cage and figure out what was going on. It only took a minute to slip past the ever present Alice, who, as it turned out, was not chained to her desk as many assumed.
As it turned out, Poe arrived at The Cage’s office just as Alice received the news that her sister was on the run after chasing a man off a cliff, and she was making arrangements for her safe travels back to Headquarters in New Orleans. To do this, she had to do the unthinkable: Briefly leave her desk when she was supposed to be on duty. Briefly cursing her sister for convincing her to make her part of this, she stood up and walked over to find the Man in the Dark Hood so she could ensure that her sister would be fine.
This made it easy to sneak into the Cage’s Office.
As Poe arrived, Nicolas Cage was at his desk, legs on the table, reading what appeared to be a movie script. He was dressed in his grey suit with no tie, looking very Nicolas Cage like. She almost felt out of place in her standard issue long red robes, hair done up in a bun, oddly also looking very Nicolas Cage like. She wasn’t sure how the robes made her feel like that, they just did.
Nicolas Cage lowered the script, “Let me ask you a question.”
“Yes, Mr. Cage,” Poe stammered.
“Please, call me Mr. Nicolas Cage,” his hypnotic voice surrounded her. Reminded her of why she followed him back to New Orleans to be in his cult. She didn’t realize that he was merely trying to recruit people, and had forgotten her name almost as soon as she walked through the door.
“Yes, Mr. Nicolas Cage,” she tried again.
“Think I should do a sequel to Con Air? That’s what this script is.”
Poe was briefly worried that a sequel to Con Air might disrupt the appeal of the original. Also, that he had already agreed to do it, and he was just making small talk as she walked into his office. Before she could talk, he slammed the script down and removed his legs from the table.
“Just kidding. We shoot it just before I take over the world. I’m going to unveil it at my crowning ceremony,’ he stood up and walked over to Poe, “Now, how did you get in here?”
Poe briefly explained that Alice wasn’t at her desk, also that The Man in the Dark Hood who’s name she never got wanted her to go somewhere and she was very nervous to be meeting Nicolas Cage in person rather than just seeing him speak his terrific speeches. Also, she threw in there that she didn’t want him to kill her for daring to interrupt his reading of Con Air 2.
Nicolas Cage put his arm around her and let out one of his laughs. In her heart, she knew it was supposed to be comforting. But, being Nicolas Cage, it just seemed kind of frightening.
“So, Manny wants you to go kill this Mars and Kaplan, huh?” Nicolas Cage said.
“That’s sweet,” Cage replied, “I MADE MY DECISION-- I made my decision, Gomez and that other guy are going to kill Mars and Kaplan. Gomez is a certifiable nut job, and the other guy is just happy to be alive.”
That was true. He didn’t know at that moment Jeff had witnessed Gomez remove at least four bottletops with his teeth as they sped down the road. Three of them were twist-offs. Jeff, who was desperately trying to find a way to warn Mars and Kaplan, just tried not to stare.
“But, if ol’ Manny wants to try this, then, sweetie, I want you to help me,” Cage said. He rushed back over to his desk and pulled out two cell phones. Sweet, sweet cell phones. The first thing you were forced to do as a member of the Cult of Cage was to destroy everything about your old life, including phones. As reward, you were given specially modified iPods that weren’t hooked up to anything, but were pre-loaded with Nicolas Cage movies specially chosen based on your personality.
He handed one of the phones to Poe.
“You’re going to be my eyes and ears on the road. I want you to go with Manny. If you stop Mars and Kaplan: great. If you don’t, then I want you to be the one to kill him, then assume his role as the Man in the Dark Hood.”
Poe cradled the phone in her hands. This was more than a mere phone. It was a direct line to Nicolas Cage. He had handed her freedom. Pure, unadulterated freedom. And she wasn’t going to let him down.
“You can count on me, Mr. Nicolas Cage!”
“I know I can, sweetie. I know I can.”
So Poe found herself in the back of the car, speeding outside of New Orleans on a mission to either kill Mars and Kaplan, or the Man in the Dark Hood himself. She had thought originally of talking things over with Kyle... he might be a strong asset. But she didn’t want to disturb her special bond she now had with Nicolas Cage. Plus, this was something she could do on her own, and prove it to everyone back home that she could still cut it. She quietly picked out which crown she was going to wear once she was installed as queen of wherever she wanted for serving Nicolas Cage so well.