Bennet wasn’t really the vain type. That’s why, when she moved to New Orleans to be a local entertainment reporter and they asked her to change her name from Mindy Smith to the more exciting, more mysterious, Bennet La Croix, it wasn’t a matter of wanting to get ahead she just didn’t care.
She was the Local Entertainment Reporter for Channel 7 Action Action News. The second Action was added three years ago by a production manager who felt that they needed more “Oomph”. He was fired six months after he added the second Action, as they decided that they needed the Action and not necessarily him. Bennet was good at her job, which mostly consisted of asking which celebrity that was focusing on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, what they were planning on doing here.
Today, it was interviewing actor Nicolas Cage about an exciting new project he had here, in New Orleans. Apparently it would change everyone’s life, and turn their focus onto the town. Which could mean just about anything, almost every celebrity that came to New Orleans was going to change the world and turn everyone’s attention to the town. The act was starting to get old.
“How’s my hair?” she asked Marty, her cameraman. She normally wore her long blonde hair down, but since she was headed to a fancy dinner party to impress her boss, today she wore it up.
“Looks great,” Marty was paid to say, adjusting his baseball cap backwards while double checking the camera. He wasn’t headed to a fancy dinner party, and could quite frankly not care less even if her hair happened to be on fire. What he knew was that he wasn’t getting overtime for this.
“Great. Mr. Cage should be here in a few minutes. Are you almost set up?” she asked.
Of course Marty was almost set up. Marty was extremely good at his job, and he got a little tired that he was constantly being asked if he was almost set up. What no one asked Marty, and they probably should, is why this interview was taking place outside of the fabulous Cage estate that overlooked Bourbon Street, instead of inside the fabulous Cage Estate that overlooked Bourbon Street and probably wasn’t as humid. The sun hadn’t quite started beating down on them, but the humidity didn’t mind, and had already decided to try to make both of them look as sweaty as possible.
Marty just continued to look down and continue to work. That was enough for Bennet to accept as a “yes” and figured he was busy doing cameraman stuff. She prepared herself for the interview.
“Is there anything I can do to help?” a voice behind her said. She was surprised to turn around and see the man, Nicolas Cage standing there, staring at her.
He was taller than she expected, but he was there, in the flesh. This was an oddity, as normally she was used to dealing with assistants, publicists, and assistants to publicists. It was rare that she was able to speak directly to the star without wading through so many levels of people.
“Um... no. No Mr. Cage, we’re just setting up. But we can be done now if you want.”
Marty looked up at her. This was art. They couldn’t be done now.
“No, you take your time,” Nicolas Cage smiled. “You sure there’s nothing I can do to help?”
“Actually... you can kind of explain why I’m here,” Bennet replied, “I checked everything I could. You’re not promoting a movie and we don’t have any charity on file for you. I was hoping you can shed some light as to why you want to be interviewed.”
Nicolas Cage let out a huge smile.
“The answer is simple. I’m going to take over the world and I’m tired of doing it in the shadows.”
Marty stopped what he was doing for a moment. He picked up a camera, deciding that yes, he could be done now.
Bennet realized the camera was on her, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I said my next big project, dear Miss La Croix,” He pronounced the “x” and looked at her straight in the eye, “Is to take over the world.”
“And why is Nicolas Cage going to take over the world.”
It was a long story, actually. Nicolas Cage hadn’t planned on taking over the world, or even actually summoning a demon. It was when he was in Germany, researching the role of a French Baker for an upcoming movie Die-Ffiel Tower. His research took him to Germany. No one bothered to ask why, they just allowed the man to do his research before they put him in front of some computer generated fire and let him speak the approximation of his lines.
While in Germany, Nicolas Cage stumbled upon an archive that had within it, among other things, a contract, signed in blood, between a human and a demon. Normally, to even research something like this would take extensive reader rights, but Nicolas Cage knew what he was doing, and within hours his trusty assistant, Alice, not only got him readers rights, but had purchased the document so he could keep it as a reminder of his trip to Germany.
It was after studying the document (And delaying Die-Ffiel Tower almost three weeks) that Nicolas Cage wondered: Could he do it? Could he raise a demon if he really wanted to? Not wanting to be one to shy away from a challenge, one night after filming he attempted to do it. And succeeded.
The first meeting between Demon Jacob Whelan and Nicolas Cage was a pleasant one.
“Mr. Cage,” The demon Jacob Whelan said, smiling and extending his hand, “I am a big fan.”
“Why, yes, thank you. I’m glad I have fans all over.”
“Even if that one movie was pure anti-Demon propaganda,” Jacob Whelan replied, “Aw, I’m just messing with you. But, in all seriousness, I have a proposition for you. Have you ever considered entering a different field? Like maybe politics?”
Nicolas Cage thought it over for a moment, “You know, I often think that the Presidency of the United States could use a change. Something more... me.”
Jacob Whelan let out a laugh, “I’m not thinking of a job so small as President of the United States. I’m thinking Emperor. Of the world. Or King, really it’s your place,”
“Emperor Cage,” he said thoughtfully, “That does have a nice ring to it.”
“Well, you just sign on the dotted line my friend and I may be able to help you out.”
Nicolas Cage had to think quietly for a few minutes. Normally Alice had to look over any contracts he signed, but this one was on a giant glowing scroll that was about 10 feet long and when he listened closely he could hear screams coming from it. And the Demon Jacob Whelan was offering him the deal of a life time.
It was with a heavy pen that Nicolas Cage picked up a quill and signed the document in red ink. He wasn’t going to use his own blood, he was a celebrity after all and when signing demonic contracts they didn’t lower themselves by using their own blood. No, using regular red ink was going to have to do.
Fortunately, the Demon Jacob Whelan managed to more than exceed his part of the bargain. Nicolas Cage was well on his way to take over the world.
“That’s quite a story,” Bennet said as soon as Nicolas Cage stopped talking, “And you want me to take this to my viewers?” she was pointing out into the air, despite the fact that this was being taped, and they, in fact didn’t have any viewers.
“I want you to be honest,” Nicolas Cage let out his nicest smile, “ and let them know that there’s no need to panic. Unless they crossed me. Indeed, the Nicolas Cage enemies list was quite long, “Oh, wait, here comes someone now.”
Bennet turned to see a young man being led through the Cage compound surrounded by four men in robes. His hands were bound near his waist and he had huge droopy eyes, like he hadn’t slept in weeks. His hair managed to go in every direction at the same time, but still look horrible.
“Yes, this is Mr. Mars, he recently attempted to stop me,” Nicolas Cage said, “and as a result...”
“I’m being put to death,” Mars said defeatedly.
“He’s being put to death!” Nicolas Cage smiled a little bit, “Now every death is a tragedy, but he was getting in the way of business. You understand, right?
“Mr. Mars,” Bennet replied, “How does it feel to be put to death by a murderous cult that worships an actor that will soon rule the world with the help of his Demon Companion?”
Mars replied, “How do you think?”
Bennet looked at the camera, “Indeed, what do we think. Back to you, Bob.” She immediately looked back at Nicolas Cage and Mars, “We’re going to keep going, I just wanted to get my sign off on a cool moment. I felt that was a cool moment. Marty, was that a cool moment?”
Marty, who at this point couldn’t care if her hair was on fire, shrugged. she took that as a good sign. It was probably a good sign.
“So, Mr. Cage,” She continued, “Please leave Mr. Mars in the background, he really sells this angle of world domination. It’s good to have prisoners, when you’re taking over the world.” She guessed. She hadn’t really ever thought about what it would take to take over the world.
Nicolas Cage smiled then held out his hand for Mars to take the seat next to him. He perched himself on top of a stool, much in the same way Nicolas Cage was perched. Of course, he didn’t know where he had gotten the stool, it had just sort of materialized. Which meant it was placed by Magic, or by Alice’s super-organized organizationness...there really wasn’t a better way to put it.
“So, Mr. Cage,” Bennet continued, finally able to ask the the question, “What will a world under the Cage regime look like?”
“Oh, very similar to what it will look like now. People will still play baseball, maybe go to the ice cream shoppe or whatever...”
Mars wondered silently if Nicolas Cage was aware of what the real world was like. He probably didn’t actually know.
“Well, his is very cute, but maybe it would help if you talked about what you’re actually promoting,” Bennet said.
“He’s actually talking about actually taking over the world,” Mars responded, “He’s going to kill me, then he’s going to take over the world! He has to be stopped! Nicolas Cage must be stopped!” Mars tired to grab the microphone out of her hand but she snatched it away.
“A little help, Marty?” She hissed to the camera.
Marty shrugged. He was paid to hold the camera, not to stop the crazy people.
“Mr. Mars here is very spirited. Of course this is all an act,” Nicolas Cage said, “In fact, we’re going to film part of it here in New Orleans, tonight.”
“That doesn’t fit the timetable at all!” Mars responded.
“The last two timetables got ruined, didn’t they,” Nicolas Cage raised his eyebrow, “So let’s go ahead and get this started.”
“What do you mean by that?” Bennet replied.
“What I mean is that we are going to film this scene, tonight, and we want as many New Orleans residents to come down so we can all work together. Who’s with me?”
Mars closed his eyes. Nicolas Cage was going to hide the ritual in plain sight. Everyone would witness it, but no one would think to stop it, except for him, Kaplan, and maybe Evie if she wasn’t in prison. Or Hamlet, but he was a cat so he didn’t have a lot of faith in him. There had to be a way out of this, why couldn’t he think of it? Think?
Mars needed a miracle.
A few minutes later, Mars got his miracle.