Nicolas Cage vs. The World – Level 5

With the warehouse at his back, our hero couldn’t help but feel as though something was wrong. Maybe it was the sudden chill he felt having walked out of the warm building, or perhaps it was the crow perched on the street sign that seemed to stare directly into his soul. Either way, Cage was concerned and decided he could do with something to eat after what felt like days dealing with his fights. Entering a nearby diner, he ordered his meal and began to eat when he heard the oddest sound. It was a haunting violin melody that made him long for time spent with The Family. He had no idea why he felt like family should be capitalized in his mind. As he allowed the music to carry him away, a man took the seat in front of him. The stranger wore a trench coat and a wide brim fedora, which made it difficult to tell who he was and when he spoke, his voice was distorted showing the lengths he would go to for secrecy. “A word of warning young Cage. You are not ready for this fight. If you go as you are, you will fall.” Cage looked at the man in confusion and almost pressed him for details when a voice whisper in his ear. “Who cares what he says. You just took out Arnold. The damn Terminator. You got this.” He paused for a moment before nodding to himself as he looked across the table to his guest. “Thanks for the advice, but there’s only two people I trust. One of them’s me. The other’s not you.” as he got up and left the diner behind him.

As Cage began to walk, he again felt as though the world was slipping past him. Without any real sense of direction, he moved forward until he was in front of a mansion that dwarfed anything he had seen before. If the word opulence could have a picture in the dictionary, this would be it. There was white marble covering everything and the pathway leading to the front door was framed in a mixture of rubies and emeralds. As Cage entered the mansion, he found himself standing in what could only be described as a shrine. There was no empty space in the house, with posters, props and all types of memorabilia marking the career of an outstanding actor. As he took in the props, Cage felt the words of the stranger echo in his head as a sudden chill ran down his spine. Steeling himself for the imminent conflict, Cage mustered his bravado and called out in a jovial tone as he bounced around on the balls of his feet. “Alfreeedooo…are you here? It’s goooooo time”

As Cage tried to get into the zone, knowing his trophies would save him if things turned chaotic, his focus was shattered by the music he heard earlier. Only this time, instead of making him long for family, it drove fear into his heart and made him question just how prepared he was for this fight. He finally realized why the music was so familiar and where it was from. “I see you picked up the soundtrack eh? Trying to channel Marlon to help you out? Well it ain’t gonna work. You think I’m scared of pressure? I love pressure, I eat it for breakfast!” Without warning, the music cut out and the ensuing silence was deafening. From every direction though, was the sound of footsteps. With each passing moment, the steps came closer and closer until finally a voice echoed through the room.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. I was enjoying myself and now I gotta deal with an upstart like you?” Cage darted around and finally came face to face with Al Pacino, looking years younger. His finely cut suit made it seem like he had walked out off the set of the Godfather yet his eyes glinted with the barely repressed fury of Tony Montana. As Cage panicked, he gripped his trophies, urging them to transform, at which point Pacino grinned. “Oh, you thought those could help you here? You come to my house and you think you’re the good guy trying to win another stupid ass award. Ya think, you must be the good guy, the hero, which lets you point at me and say there goes the bad guy. Well if I’m the bad guy then say hello to mah little friend!” he roared, as he whipped out a grenade launcher and fired at the floor in front of Cage.

It felt as though the universe had frozen. He could see the distortions as the pressure wave moved towards him and he wondered how he had time to see this. To think that his quest was over and that he was being blown up by Tony freakin Montana. As he closed his eyes and waited for the sweet embrace of death, he felt something grab him and the world went dark.

When he woke, he found himself lying on a mat in what seemed to be a dojo of sorts. Wooden pillars surrounded him and leaning against the wall was the man from the diner. As he walked towards Cage, he unbuttoned his coat and removed his hat revealing his identity. Cage stared in confusion as his savior looked at him and spoke. “You were not ready to face him because you were too reliant on your trophies to fight for you. You feared what he could do and your fear blinded you to reality. It’s time you learned to let it all go. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”

Our hero has had a rough time taking on Pacino, but can his mysterious trainer help him move past the limitations of his own mind? Catch you next time – BB



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