Tag Archive | Saving the Cult

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Seven

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

The geyser was still coming.  It was smaller, it was weak, but it was a category-2 hurricane instead of a cat-4. It was still going to cause a lot of wreckage if it was allowed to rip through the city.

Hurricanes.  I could stop hurricanes… I have got to do a lot more studying.

She took a breath and squeezed Ethan’s hand.  She lifted the shields to exactly where they needed to be, she braced her feet, and she pushed back against the wave of power. Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Six

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

It was time.  They needed to get set up; they needed to get ready.

Lina squeezed all three boys’ hands in turn and let Jackson steer, around to the side of the plant. “If we hadn’t been willing to do this, if we hadn’t been here,” he murmured, “I’m pretty sure they’d have let it blow again, without telling the city where they needed to evacuate. Because that simulation, that tells people they knew this could happen and how bad it could be, and they don’t want to admit anything like that.”

“Sounds like business as normal,” Ethan muttered grimly. “Are we sure they’re not related to us?” Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Five

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

Lina wasn’t sure she recognized herself anymore.  She sounded like some rich woman, telling people they had to do what she wanted.  Looking at this exec – she was pretty sure that was a very expensive suit – as if she’d personally disappointed Lina.

Either the force shield or the tone of voice, maybe both, made the woman falter. “You can’t be here.  The plant is undergoing routine maintenance-”

“It’s a little late for that lie, don’t you think?” Ethan sounded surprisingly smooth.  And sharp. “After what happened to the West Side.  We came from there, by the way.”

Dylan picked up from him.  “What did your extrapolations say should have happened? Because we can tell you exactly where the surge stopped.  And why.”  He tilted his head at Lina.

The woman went ashen. “Listen, kids,” she managed.  Lina was impressed.  “For safety and legal reasons, we’re going to have to ask you and your, ah, field trip – Senator?”

“I believe the woman has told you that she needs to be here.”  Senator Whistler was amazing.  Lina suddenly wanted to be her when she grew up.  “And I believe we all know the time frame we’re working under.  So either tell us which way we’re blocking so we can be most effective, or get out of our way so we can circle the plant.  Now.”

“Blocking?”  The woman raised her eyebrows.  “You-”  She looked down at the force shield. “You think you can hold off a power plant explosion with a little magic trick?”

“No.”  Lina snapped it out.  She was going to get panicked or angry, so damnit, it was going to have to be anger. “No, I already did hold off one power plant explosion.  So tell me which way I’m blocking right now.”

She considered a threat, decided it made her think less of herself to even think it, and instead waited.

The woman huffed. “If you are harmed in any way, our corporation nor none of our daughter corporations are in any way liable…”

“Except  the part where you let your plant blow in the first place, yadda, yadda, yes, I understand.  Now.  We’re running out of time.”

“Yes, we are, and you really ought to clear out right now… but you’re not going to, are you?” The woman shook her head, pulled out her phone, and tabbed through – three thumb-print authorizations, Lina noted – until she was showing them a simulation.

“Jackson,” Lina snapped out.

Who was she?  What was she becoming?  Did she even know anymore?

Jackson looked at the simulation, nodded, then hissed softly. “Show me again,” he demanded.

The woman did so.

“I’m going to say one more time, this is crazy.  You need to leave.”

“Got it.”  Jackson nodded crisply.  “Ma’am, if you can stick around – safely – and show us the rest of that simulation, it will save time later.  For now -”  He looked at Lina, bowed slightly, and gestured.  “I’m ready to get us set up for you.”

“Then let’s do it.”

They hadn’t needed The Fathers. She found herself in more than a little shock over that.  They hadn’t needed The Fathers, they hadn’t needed – anything but themselves.

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Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Four

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

Officer Dean looked as if she hadn’t slept. “The power plant isn’t saying a damn thing.  We asked them every way we could, we got a warrant, we have all the lawyers on it, they’re not saying anything. They’d rather risk the city being melted than admit culpability.”  She huffed, but there was no heat in it. “We cleared a path for you and your — your bus.  So tell the driver to go as fast as he feels as safe, just follow the flare line.”

While Lina, Jackson, and her father collected this information, Dylan and Ethan were herding those of Lina’s “volunteers” who’d returned — almost all of them, she thought.

“God,” she whispered.  “All these people, Jackson.” Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Three

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

“Splash? A splash effect?”  Lina blinked. “I – oh, like ripples?”

“Something like that,” Jackson agreed.  “I don’t know enough magical physics-”

“I didn’t even know magical physics was a thing,” she cut in.

“Well, to be fair,” Ethan put in, “did you know magic was a thing, like, a week ago?” Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Two

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

You’d think they’d practiced it, the way they moved to the bus.  Lina’s dad smiled at them and hugged her one-armed.  “You made it.  Some people here said there was some inter-Organization difficulty-?”

“My aunts.”  Ethan made a face.  “They were, ah, pushing people to do something else, or to, at least, push us to do something else.  They’re, I don’t know.  Maybe they’re still waiting for the Old Wise Sage who’s going to save us.” Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-One

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

Ethan glared at Lina and Jackson. “I mean it. Stop beating yourself up. We slept, yeah, and now – this time.” He took a deep breath. “This time, we know what we’re going into, and we can call a taxi, rent a limo if we have to, and we won’t need as much sleep, because we won’t have just stopped that riot and then the end of the world. Just the end of the world,” he added, trailing off on that happy note. Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

They walked away from Mr. Lee, from the remaining people that seemed more confused than anything else. She didn’t know if it was a victory, but it was – well, it was a clear path at the moment.

“So.” Jackson cleared his throat. “So, something of an adviser role puts us in a position where we aren’t immediately submissive to Lina – sorry, guys-”

“She saved our lives.” Dylan shrugged jerkily. “It’s a price to pay, that’s all.”

She noticed he didn’t say small price but then again, it wasn’t. Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Twenty-Nine

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

Mrs. Thompson cleared her throat.  “Now, mind control aside, I’m beginning to wonder a number of things about the leaders of our organization – not offense, young men, considering who your families are -” She nodded at Dylan and Ethan. 

“None taken,” Dylan muttered.  “You’re probably right.”

“Besides,” Ethan put in cheerfully, “Lina here saved our asses.  Lives.  Sorry.  Twice, maybe three times already.  So loyalty…”  He shrugged eloquently. 

“Loyalty is, uh, with the person – people – who value us,” Dylan filled in very softly.  “I think I hear my dad ahead, though, so maybe we talk about loyalty some time when it won’t get me disowned?”  Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Twenty-Eight

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

I just want to, you know—

Save the world?

“Um.”  Lina cleared her throat.  “Something like that, yeah, I guess.  I mean, the city?”  She shrugged.  Someone grabbed her shoulder; she pressed them away with a shield and turned to glance.  “Mrs. Thomson?”  She was staring at her English Lit teacher from junior year.  “I didn’t know you were part of the Organization.”

“Catalina, you need to go to the training session.  You’re such a good student; why are you doing this?”  

Not her.  This was straight out of one of her weirder nightmares.  Lina was going to scream.  She was going to start throwing things. 

She didn’t have the time or luxury to do that.  Continue reading