Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 7: The Puppeteer

Name: Nicolae Cain
Age: Unknown
Occupation: President of New America
Hair: Brownish-red
Eyes: Hazel
Birthplace: The East Edge

Personality: Despite his outwardly charming facade, Nicolae is a very cold individual. He does not let very many people close for fear that it can be exploited as a weakness. Very few things are important to him, but those few that are demand all his attention, causing him to care very little for anyone or thing around him.

Biography: Not much is known of Nicolae's childhood, except that his parents had high expectations for him. He learned at an early age that a person on their own, within their own knowledge and abilities, could be smart... but that people as a whole were lazy and greedy creatures, easily distracted by promises of fame and fortune.

By the time this dawned on him, society had destroyed itself. Technology, fast food, and various pill-shaped supplements paved the way for a newer, lazier America. People began to rely on instantaneous results, no longer willing to put forth an effort and even less willing to wait on anything. Jobs became workable from home, and people found any reason to stay home. Cars emitted pollutants that were bad for the environment, the sun's harmful UV rays caused skin cancer, guns came out at night, etc. etc. If something needed to be done, someone would do it for them.

Eventually, it was decided that making decisions was too troublesome; required too much thought and effort. People came forth, willing to make decisions for the citizens, and they willingly relinquished their right to have a say. Laws began to pass and one by one, constitutional rights were dissolved. By the time the citizens realized what had happened, America was destroyed.

Then came Nicolae. He swore to help the people rebuild their once great country, promised to provide the leadership and direction they had been lacking for years. He told them of the corruption their former leaders had been a part of, and gave them his word that he would be nothing but honest with them. If they would allow him the humble position of President - a word that had not been used in a while - he would work as hard as he could to save them. Together they would usher in a New America, a better America... and the idiots believed him.

Once in power, Nicolae immediately divided the nation into two sects: The Blessed and the Damned. The Blessed were the privileged citizens. They had made the decisions necessary to be in God's favor and had thus been allowed to live in luxury. The Damned were the poor citizens, and they had no one to blame but themselves. They had obviously lead dispicable lives and had made choices that were less than ideal, and were thus being punished by God or Buddha or Karma or whatever deity the "great leader" decided to spotlight at the time.

If anyone had given the claims a thought - had really mulled over the reasoning and "proof" President Cain presented them - they would have easily seen that it was all manufactured. But people were stupid, and the citizens of New America had long forgotten how to think for themselves. And those that did remember were taken care of... not by Nicolae, but by the very people they were trying to liberate.

The young dictator knew the best way to keep people from asking questions was to appear to help them, and thus The 11th Hour was created. Marketed as Nicolae's way of helping the Damned to help themselves, he utilized the "game" as a way to execute anyone who dared try to rise against him. Any citizen to win the game four years in a row would be Blessed, and granted a better life. This, of course, was out of reach. Each year, Nicolae planted one of his own personal military to make the execution. Each participant received a small pay out, giving them hope, but the win was given to one of Nicolae's men every year, and no one ever came close to the grand prize. Anyone that did was quietly taken care of.

It was perfect. He kept his enemies close and had no friends to keep closer. The citizens of New America were convinced he could do no wrong, and were satisfied to follow him to the ends of the Earth, a place to which he fully intended on leading them. Foreign relations were strict but painless, and with every citizen trying to help themselves, they completely forgot to help each other. It seemed like nothing could stand against him.

Until a group of no count Damned citizens won The 11th Hour... not once, not twice, but three times. In the past, Nicolae had taken care of single competitors that had come close, but these kids were working together. He couldn't make an entire group of people simply disappear.

To make matters worse, the one person he had been unsuccessful in rubbing out - Samuel Abel - resurfaced in New America as he was preparing for that year's competition. Samuel was the one person that struck fear in Nicolae's heart, and had managed to dodge the dictator's grasp due to spending long periods of time overseas. Nicolae knew he would not have resurfaced unless he had some sort of plot against him, and it came at the worst possible time. He would have to pull out all the stops if he hoped to get rid of team CHECK and Samuel without loosening his grip on New America... but even with his best men on the job, nothing was certain.

And for a man that had been certain of so much for so long, that was unacceptable...

Based On: Jason Bateman

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