Tag Archive | Saving the Cult

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

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.

There was one of the white-robed security people watching the exit into the parking lot, but he looked distracted and it wasn’t even hard to sneak around him.

Once they were in the lot, it was easy enough to put a couple SUVs in the line of sight between them and the security-cultist, and then it was a straight walk out of the park.

It was later than Lina had realized; most of the houses outside the park had their lights off. They were small houses, well-up-kept — sort of like cottages, but with the feeling that they were lived in year-round.

“The prophecy,” Lina asked Jackson. “It’s just the top of the hill, right? Because if it was all of this, our parents would have bought this all up and built houses here.”

“They keep trying to buy the park,” Dylan offered. “My dad, Ethan’s mom, I think your dad. But the city won’t sell it.”

“The impression given has been a little fuzzy,” Jackson added in. his lips were d he looked like he was reading off an invisible book somewhere in front of him. Lina took his arm so he didn’t wander off the side of the road. “Most of the prophecies seem to suggest a small area — the park, that sort of thing — but a few could mean the whole hill. It’s not a great school district here—”

“Like any of us go to public school,” Ethan scoffed. The further they got away from the campground, the less worried he seemed to be. Lina wondered if they should just run away.

Of course, if the top of the hill was really the only place safe from the end of the world, running away wouldn’t be a good idea. Continue reading

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

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 steered them away from the exiting crowd, off to the left where there weren’t many campsites, being instead things like the utility shack and the groundskeeper’s hut and other such unsightly things that kept the place going.  “So,” she murmured a little while later, “who-?”

“My aunts.  My dad’s sisters.”  Ethan made a face. “They’re uh, the Handmaidens of the Organization and they’re the reason my dad and mom got into it.  They’re pretty —”

“Creepy,” Dylan put in.  “And the stuff with your parents,” he gestured at Lina, “that’s the sort of stuff the higher-ups in the Organization – my dad, his aunts, you know – they don’t want people to talk about.  Or even really think about.”

“What did my parents do?  I mean, okay, folding space.  But that’s not-“

“Your parents were trying to start a splinter group,” Ethan cut in.  “Not quite the same thing, and I’m sort of surprised they’re here, because they had a different interpretation of the prophecy.  And what the Organization was supposed to do. And who should be in charge-“

“What, Dad?” Lina asked bitterly.  Continue reading

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

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 wiggled her fingers.  “Can you feel that?”

“Feel what?”  Ethan stared at her fingers as if they were made of magic.  Well, they kind of were. 

“I can feel — little tingles of power. In — in eight of my fingers.”

“That’s going to be interesting when you add more people.”  Jackson hrrmed. 

“When?”  Lina wrinkled her nose at him. “Are you planning on me saving more lives?”

They were walking — casually, slowly, like they weren’t in any hurry at all — through the sort of befuddled crowd, currently past what remained of the catering tables. Jackson was handing Lina mini-quiches while Dylan and Ethan grabbed sushi rolls for themselves.   Continue reading

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

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.

“-Might have noticed how you didn’t fall to your doom.”

Ethan was the best at being menacing; Jackson was the best at being logically charming, and somewhere in between the two of them, Dylan smiled at people and they seemed to agree with him. 

There were five of them Jackson had noticed, and they were starting with the three that might need the most convincing, as far as he was convinced – one of those had been almost all the way to Lina when the shield caught him, so he might have thought that he’d have been fine, discounting the huge crowd of people that were also clawing towards him. 

They’d let Dylan have him, Jackson convince the one who seemed to know nearly as much about the Organization as he did, and then aimed Ethan at a creepy woman who declared that she owed nothing to anyone, ever. 

Lina – watched.  Truth be told, she took mental notes, too.  She had some idea how to handle people, from school, from bullies, from watching her parents, but watching the three of them work was a completely different matter. If all three of them weren’t so sure that they didn’t have magical powers, she’d have – given what she knew now – suspected some sort of magical charm going on with all of them.  They just headed in to what they were doing and came out the other end with a smile and the response they wanted.  Continue reading

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

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.  Lina.” A hand waved in front of her face. “Catalina?”

She blinked.  Jackson had a hand on her back and a hand in front of her face.  Her hands — her hands were on Dylan and Ethan’s necks.  And down in the gorge, the whole place was glowing blue. 

“What—”  She stared.  “Did—”

“You got everyone safe.  Separated. And down on the ground.  Might have gotten a couple broken arms while you figured it out, but a broken bone is a lot better than — well, than what was happening.”

“I don’t have that sort of power!” Continue reading

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

 

Jackson was watching her intently.  She pressed her thumb to Dylan’s forehead and felt her power in her hands, the way the force flowed through and out of them, the blue tingly light that seemed to come from somewhere deep inside of her. 

Dylan stumbled slightly and blinked at her.  When she pulled back her hand, there was a faint glowing blue light on his forehead. 

“And the neck,” Jackson urged.  “Same thing. Back of the neck.”

“Not the neck,” Dylan protested.  Even as he was complaining, though, he was kneeling.  Continue reading

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

They ran into a riot. 

Lina had used the word before in that sort of semi-ironic way that she used a lot of words.  It meant people were complaining or people really wanted that TV

This was an as-seen-on-TV genuine screaming riot. 

Nobody was breaking windows, sure, but that’s because there were no windows.  The amphitheater was this great (normally) natural bowl-shaped formation that opened to a waterfall in the back and the lake on the left. It had three bottleneck entrances and, at the moment, it looked like the guards were trying to keep people from leaving, so nobody tried to stop Lina and Jackson from entering. 

She wasn’t quite sure why they did, but even as she had that thought she pulled up a shield in front of them.  “What the – what the hell?”

She couldn’t be heard over the shouting.  She could barely hear herself over the yelling. 

She grabbed someone who was carrying a third of a broken lawn chair. “What’s going on?” Continue reading

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

“Think about it.”  Jackson grinned brightly.  “Showing them this when you’re already good enough to do something like that!”

Lina twisted her face up.  “I’d uh, rather not. I mean.  If they wanted this, they’re going to be pissed.  If they didn’t want it, ditto.”

“Why would they be pissed if they wanted it?”  Jackson’s brow furrowed for a moment before he frowned. “Oh.”  He sounded like it tasted bad. “Because you didn’t tell them?”

“Yeah…”  She watched him carefully.  Was he mad at her about keeping it a secret?  What would she do if he was?

“So you have to have a reason that it’s okay to tell them now and not before.  School? I mean, hrrm…” He shook his head. “No, they’d have lied to school and you probably can’t pretend to not know that.”

Lina found herself smiling.  “You’re gonna help me find a way to tell them?” Continue reading

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

Lina and Jackson got to the parking lot, or, rather, they got to the campground side of the parking lot — a strange stretch with some Uhauls and vans, box trucks and the like cheek to jowl with Bentlies and Beemers, Mercedes and Corvettes. 

Another woman in a robe stopped them.  “Sorry, kids. Nobody in, nobody out, we’re locking down.  The boss got a bug in his bonnet and we’re getting ready for the final — well, you know.

Lina didn’t know at all, but she looked at Jackson, who looked guilty and huffed.  “We just want to go into town for a couple hours?” he wheedled. “It’s not like town is dangerous.  It’s barely downhill from here.”

“Sorry, no exceptions.  Go to the water if you want some recreation.  If you want some recreation, I won’t notice if the pavilion behind the food storage gets its lock picked. Just lock it again behind you if you can.” Continue reading

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

Warning: Discussion of racism

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.

“We could all—” Lina flailed her hands, “– be sitting here & die while some other Hill Top is safe?”

“Well, if so, we’ll be in the majority?” His smile was crooked.  “Most people agree that this is the place. That’s why Dylan and Ethan’s fathers are here.  And my mother — my parents — and probably your parents. “

“Dylan said I didn’t belong here,” she muttered. “So did his buddy.”

“Yeah, well, they’re assholes.  You literally held them in the air with the power of your mind.  You belong here. And if they’re stupid about your mother — because that’s probably the problem, between you and me,” he sighed.  He caught himself and huffed. “Sorry, that’s—” He stared at his pizza, attacked it, and was quiet for a moment, mouth full. 

Lina took the chance to take a couple bites of pizza herself, thought about what he was saying and not, and grabbed the soda to wash down the pizza.

“So you’re saying they’re racists.” Continue reading