“Okay, laptops open. Detention lasts an hour. We have an hour to do what we came here to do. We picked the story that would most likely to affect the targets more than ourselves, but you know the risks. We crunched the variables as best as we could from what we know, but this is not an exact science. It’s for all intents and purposes magic.”
After listening to Wesley drone into us, I can’t help but to poke with with a “well, actually” equivalent. “To quote Arthur C. Clarke, ‘Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.’”
“And we don’t understand this,” Carlos adds. “So, closer to magic than science for us.”
“If,” Aurora says, “If it’s all not just a big prank. And that’s a pretty big if, if you ask me.”
He takes my jab and Carlos’ addition in stride, but he seems peeved by Aurora. I think he’s always had a thing for her. It’s not like all three of us don’t have a thing for her. I mean, she’s gorgeous, after all, but I think his thing has been a long time running. Being in close proximity to her makes him act different. Everything she says has a different weight and non-insults and statements that call him into question cut him like a thousand knives.
Wesley goes on dictating out to us, “All available data backs up that this is not just some random site or some urban myth prank type thing. Worst case scenario, we spend some time reading and choosing the paths of these stories and nothing happens beyond simple entertainment. However, we’re on the clock in case of other more interesting things and the clock keeps on ticking as we continue to rehash this conversation.”
I don’t believe any of this. I’m just along for the ride and the story.
It’s Wesley’s research and plan so he actually is a believer.
He actually thinks that we can use some story on a website to change the world, but to more specifically and importantly, change some people in the next room over.
I’m nothing if not meticulous. I’ve read the same sites he has and probably even some he hasn’t. Because of its ridiculous nature, it seems like a hoax that people just enjoy perpetuating. That could just be the atheist in me.
When drawing straws — the only fair way to decide once Damian was assigned to Aurora through a unanimous vote — I actually hoped I wouldn’t get Brianna Rogers, the most plastic of the Plastics. She’s angry at the world because she was born with a honker of a nose and was given no breasts with the onset of puberty to get people… boys… to like her. She got surgery on her nose and chest, and dyed her drab brown hair to be as blonde as blonde can be, but the outer fixes did nothing to quell the roaring bitch inside.
So with the beautiful black beauty that is Cora Jackson and the natural stunner that is Faith Phillips in the mix, of course, I pull she-devil bitch Brianna Rogers as my “story partner.”
I half hope that this site is bogus because I don’t want to be tied to her in any way whatsoever.
I dive into the story “The Cult of You” from the Choose Your Own Adventure story site and, because fair is fair, bring Brianna Rogers into my tale.
I wonder if the feeling of being temporarily sick to my stomach has anything whatsoever to do with the supposed “power” of the site or just a flash from my subconscious at the idea of being partnered with Brianna.
Either way, it goes as quickly as it comes and I begin the story.
Your lead acolyte Brianna approaches you reverently. “Are you excited? It’s not every day you start a new religion.”
“People need something to believe in. It’s time something was created that could endure with a more positive impact for once,” you say with purposeful conviction.
“So I take it, you’ve decided then? You’ve decided what is to be the central tenet of this new religion?”
Max, do you —
Found it with love as the basis
Found it with fear as the basis
Found it with discipline as the basis
Found it with intellect as the basis
I want Brianna to have no connection to me beyond mental, which seems to rule out three of the options, leaving only one viable option to choose.
I select — Found it with intellect as the basis.
Imagine that, a religion built around intellect. I go through various scenarios in my head, contemplating the outcomes in rapid order. I’ve always prided myself on my much higher than average, bordering on superhuman intelligence. A large enough group led by a collective intelligence could prove to be the salve this world is in such dire need of… but that’s an idle fancy, I should continue reading this story.
You find Acolyte Brianna reading a tome, as is customary for all of your followers, as small a number as that may currently be. But you have plans to expand, to lure new members under your benevolent wings.
Max, do you —
Lure them in with promises of sex
Lure them in with promises of clarity
Lure them in with promises of transcendence
Lure them in with promises of order
Picturing Brianna reading of her own accord is definitely the most fantastical element of this story yet, especially a “tome” and not some fashion magazine or entertainment rag. What if this story had the power to change a snobby, vapid bitch like Brianna into someone of worth? If they could push beyond their limitations, imagine how much better the world could possibly be. Brianna’s wrappings aren’t so bad, I’ve just always taken an issue with who she is inside. If her insides could change for the better, though…
I select — Lure them in with promises of transcendence.
Intellect will take us beyond. Embracing the powers of the mind to overcome all difficulties will lead humanity to a new enlightenment. Unlocking that potential within us all will usher in a truly golden age. I can take the clay that is Brianna and lift her beyond to make her more than what I’ve known her to be…
Acolyte Brianna leans in and whispers, “Transcendence is always the best option. It leads to a greater evolution of the human spirit, body, and mind.”
“Are you just trying to placate me, Brianna?” You ask coyly.
“As your first and most devoted follower I will always tell you the truth unless told to do otherwise,” she says, head bowed. “Look, I will follow you to the ends of the earth, because that’s my lot, but you have to be certain in your own mind just why you want followers.”
Max, do you —
Want to be worshipped
Want to lead
Want sexual satisfaction
Want to change the world
Providing transcendence with a focus on intellect to a needy world should be rewarded handily.
I select—Want to be worshipped.
I am worthy of so much more than I’ve always accepted. I walk among mere mortals but an elevated being such as myself should not be treated like them. I have stepped beyond. I have joined a higher order. Those that walk with me (two steps behind minimal) shall bask in my glory. Those that dare step up to me to act against me? Lo, they will all feel the full force of my wrath.
“A leader without followers is just a person taking a walk,” Brianna says with a smile, then continues, indicating through a two-way mirror a mixed set of people. “I’ve gathered a group of potential followers. Do you want to judge them?”
Max, do you —
Accept only the young
Accept only the attractive
Accept only the wealthy
The young haven’t had their minds set yet. They are still mutable and can still learn a new way, a new path. They can learn to focus on their intellect, to transcend their mortal form, and to provide me with more years of worship.
I select — Accept only the young.
I am so blessed to be in high school with all of these fine young women — their bodies full, but tight. All of that youthful exuberance and appeal. I think, that when I move on to college, I’ll keep a high school girlfriend, because I don’t want to give any of that up.
Brianna returns from a discussion with the people on the other side. All of them look young and pleased to have been accepted. She also looks content with the additions, but asks one final question of you. “Some of your potential followers are asking… Are you a god?”
Max, do you say —
I have followers. I bring transcendence through intellect. If that doesn’t support a case for godhood, then I don’t know what would.
I select Yes.
I see the laptops of the room’s other three inhabitants also close in sync with mine as I feel my rising godhood. I don’t know what happened to them, but I hope they are prepared to worship. As my friends from my previous existence, I would hate for them to miss out on the blessing of me and my message.