There was very little sunlight, so Jeff had no idea how long he had been sitting in his prison, handcuffed to a broken foosball table to his good arm, while his shoulder still burned where he had been stabbed. It wasn’t so much a “prison” as it was an unfinished storage room, so he was able to pass the time by having imaginary conversations with the Christmas Decorations that were in a box near him. The cult members watching him would have stopped him a long time ago, but monitor duty was boring, and at least he was more interesting than the last four people they had locked up there.
Occasionally, Jeff would make a little mark on the wall. By his count he had been here for over a year. In reality, it had only been about a week since Dale dove head first into a fire to temporarily stall the ending of the world.
Now he was staring into the dead eyes of a Santa who danced to “Jingle Bell Rock” for the 90th time. Even the Santa looked like he was getting tired of the music.
It almost came as a relief when the door burst open. The man in the dark hood, the previously tied up blonde girl he now knew was named Alice (now unbound, and looking kind of cute, Jeff noted) and a larger man he heard someone refer to as “Gomez” entered, tossed a bag over his head, and dragged him out of the room.
Jeff saw plenty of movies where a bag was thrown over someone’s head, and he wondered what the experience would be like. It turns out that the experience was even less glamorous than he imagined, if that was possible. Gomez (he assumed Gomez was holding him. It was a firm grip) kept smashing him into walls, and at one point, he was sure a stuffed moose. He was thrown into a chair and the bag was ripped off his head.
It took a moment for his eyes to adjust. He found himself sitting in a rather nice looking, modern office overlooking what he assumed was Bourbon Street at night. Rather, it looked like every movie scene from Bourbon Street at night. He was seated in a comfortable leather chair in front of a desk. The office was mostly grey, the desk in front of him was mostly glass with some papers on it, including two faces he didn’t recognize and there was a completely unnecessary fireplace off to the corner that he assumed was mostly for show, as the humidity never dropped below 90% since he and Dale first stumbled into New Orleans. It looked nice, though. Did it have to be on?
The trio that brought him to the office left, and there were a few tense moments of silence. He could grab a letter opener, use it to kill one of the guards he was sure was guarding the door, snap the neck of the other one, then it would be just a few steps to freedom where he could blend in with the crowd on Bourbon Street. His military training didn’t prepare him for this, but maybe if he believed enough he could still save the world and show those angels they choose poorly... It would be Jeff that saved the world, not Dale.
First problem: No letter opener. Second problem: before he could act the large doors behind him swung open and he could hear the click-clack of fancy shoes on the hardwood floors.
“Hello, Jeffrey. Mind if I call you Jeff? We’ll call you Jeff,” a familiar voice said behind him. Jeff didn’t turn around. He knew to whom that voice belonged.
He couldn’t believe he was staring at THE Nicolas Cage, standing their in all his Nicolas Cageness. The star of so many classic films. The man who brought “acting” to a brand new level. Despite being star struck for a moment, he realized that this was also the man attempting to bring about the end of the world.
“Oof, you do not look well,” Nicolas Cage continued as he swung around the table, “listen, I’m going to talk to Alice,” he paused to press the button on his intercom “Alice get in here. Listen, I’m going to talk to Alice and we’re going to get you some cream for those baggy eyes, it’s going to be fantastic. No prisoner of mine is going to spend the three weeks before the end of the world not looking his best.”
Jeff didn’t know what to say. Cage spun around and sat down in the chair behind the desk, putting his feet up immediately.
“So, Jeffrey, I suppose you’re wondering why I called you here today,” Cage said, “you and your buddy did do quite a number on my whole ritual. I have to ask you, why you felt like doing that. Hmmm, buddy?”
Jeff squinted for a moment, “You’re trying to end the world.”
Cage laughed, put his feet down, and leaned over the desk, “I’m not trying to ‘end the world’ as you and your angel buddies like to put it. I’m just trying to restructure it so it’s under new management.”
“Yes. I knew you’d get it. Can I get you a drink?”
Jeff was caught off guard by the question. He’d seen this part in a lot of movies. The bad guy would offer him a drink, while he explained his evil plan, then he would be killed dramatically at the end of the scene. Jeff decided he wasn’t going to be another statistic, despite the fact that this wasn’t a movie.
“Um... sure?” He had to admit, even he was surprised by the answer.
Cage stood up and walked over to a table that held a bunch of bottles with various liquids in them. He picked up one of them, and turned to his guest, “I got this bottle of scotch when I was doing research for National Treasure. Did you know that I actually went back in time to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence? That’s one of the advantages you get when you have a real live Demon on the payroll.”
He walked over and handed the glass to Jeff, who immediately put it to his lips. Before he could drink, he looked up to see Nicolas Cage holding his class out, eyebrows raised. Jeff pushed his glass toward’s Cage’s and they lightly clinked. Satisfied, Cage took a drink and Jeff followed suit. It was good Scotch.
Then, Nicolas Cage took his glass, and hurled it into the fireplace, smashing it, and causing the unnecessary fire to rise up.
“WHAT DID THOSE LYING ANGEL FUCKS TELL YOU ABOUT MY PLAN, JEFFREY!” Cage exploded.
Jeff had seen this side of him in many of his movies. He decided that it looked better when it wasn’t directed at him.
“WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU? You share my Scotch, my hospitality in my New Orleans home, the least you could do is share some information with me, Jeffrey!”
“Dale, Dale, Dale!” Nicolas Cage picked up some papers on the desk and threw them at Jeff, “We knew about Dale since day one, just like we knew about Gomez. We didn’t know about you, but I guess you weren’t ‘Chosen’, huh?” he let out a little laugh like it was a joke that only knew about.
“Yes, he was the Chosen...” Jeff started, but Cage just picked up two photos off his desk and shoved them in Jeff’s face.
“Who are these two? Sending more reinforcements? I swear, you keep sending those stupid little ‘chosen ones’ off to stop me, and none of them work. Now I’ve got two guys that I don’t have any record of, Jeffrey. Nothing. No military experience. No demon stopping experience. Nothing, Jeffrey, do you know how this makes me look? this makes me look like an asshole in front of my Cult. Do you know what it’s like to look like an asshole in front of your Cult?”
Nicolas Cage smashed his hand down on the intercom buzzer, “Alice am I an asshole because I don’t know anything about these two idiots?”
“Yes, you are, sir,” Alice’s voice came from the opposite end.
Jeff looked stunned.
“She’s the best personal assistant I’ve ever had,” Nicolas Cage said, “it’s rare you find someone willing to tell you the truth who’s willing to sacrifice herself like that. Been with me for about four years now.”
Nicolas Cage sat down on the edge of the desk and slapped his hand down on Jeff’s knee, “Now if you’re not going to be cooperative, Jeffrey, we need to think about what we’re going to do with you.”
Almost as if he could read his mind, the hulking presence of Gomez lurched into the room.
“Gomez, this is Jeffrey. He accompanied the last ‘Chosen One’ on his mission. Now he’s going to accompany you in finding out everything we can on these two idiots that are being sent to stop us. Again.”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Cage.”
For a moment, Jeff felt as if he was going to question the logic of being sent to go stop the two guys being sent to stop Nicolas Cage. After all, it was only a short time ago that he was being asked to stop Nicolas Cage. But then he realized this not only bought him a few more moments of precious life, but that both men were currently involved in a cult trying to take over the world, so perhaps he should keep his mouth shut.
Gomez slapped his large hand down on Jeff’s recently perforated shoulder, causing the pain to shoot all the way down to his legs. For a moment, he thought he was going to black out.
“Other one, man, other one. We’re trying to take over the world, we’re not being cruel,” Nicolas Cage said, pouring himself another drink.
“Sorry,” Gomez said, lifting his hand up.
“To him,” Nicolas Cage pointed at Jeff.
“Sorry,” Gomez said, this time directed it to his new prisoner/side-kick.
“It’s no problem,” Jeff squeaked.
Nicolas Cage handed Gomez two photos from his desk. “These are the two guys. David Kaplan and David Mars. They’re on their way right now with three other people and a cat.”
“A cat?” Jeff and Gomez said at the same time. Gomez let out a smile... they were thinking alike, just like a good team should.
“I didn’t arrange the party, I’m just trying to tell you what I know. Especially since Jeff isn’t more helpful. They don’t seem to have the military training that you guys had, so ending their quest should be too difficult. Stop them before the ritual this time. Rituals are expensive, I’m tired of having to constantly re-do it. Besides, our Demon friend is getting impatient,” Nicolas Cage sat down at his desk.
Gomez hoisted Jeff to his feet, and the pair left the office.
From an unseen corner, the man in the dark hood watched.
“You can’t fail this time, Mr. Cage,” he said.
“I’m aware of that.”
“Just so we’re on the same page,” with that, the man in the dark hood left the office.