Monday, December 2, 2013

Chapter 38: Finale

Music Track - Play it if you want to listen. 

~ Late Knight Simmer ~

As the documentary came to a close, our very last interview segment was about how I felt when I heard that The Compound had been raided. It was five years ago, and I was sitting on the couch watching tv with Camo when the news interrupted our show.

"Breaking news. This live from Chopper 48. The Compound, a local homeless shelter, has just been raided. The Leader, also known by his real name of Marshall Lexington, is being arrested for running a shelter containing illegal drugs. The undercover officer placed within The Compound a month ago has bruises on his face and body from beatings he endured while inside. He has been taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. The Compound is going to be shut down. Some residents are not taking this lightly, purposely attacking officers and firing at them, screaming that they would die for The Leader before they will go with The Strangers. Reports from the undercover officer revealed heavy conditioning and brainwashing that went on within The Compound. Officers are detaining residents and they will be placed in a psychiatric ward for deprogramming. Now back to your regularly scheduled program."

Camo was excited when he saw the report, but I was scared because I thought for sure The Leader would manipulate the courts, be set free, and then come after Camo and I, killing us. Camo told me to have faith that we would be okay, and I wished I could share his courage. Time passed and no one came for us, so eventually I realized it was over, for good.

I had a good feeling when I finished the final interview segment of our documentary, which was named The Compound: Silicon Shores' Silent Danger.  Verona and Charles set up a release party to announce that they were going to be advertising it to some television networks.I was standing with Camo at the snack table when Verona went up on stage and started singing Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson.

You know the bed feels warmer
Sleeping here alone
You know I dream in colour
And do the things I want

You think you got the best of me
Think you've had the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I'd come running back
Baby you don't know me, cause you're dead wrong

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone

You heard that I was starting over with someone new
They told you I was moving on over you

You didn't think that I'd come back
I'd come back swinging
You try to break me, but you see

Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I'm not the broken-hearted
Thanks to you I'm finally thinking about me
You know in the end the day you left was just my beginning
In the end...

~ Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson ~

As she was singing, I observed Camo. He was immediately drawn in and I could see the love radiating from his eyes. Even after all the years they've been married, Camo is still as lovestruck as he was when he first saw Verona on the beach so long ago. If that isn't true love, I don't know what is. Absolon comes up behind me, wraps his arms around my waist, and starts grinding on me, enjoying the beat from the song. I love him so much, and I wouldn't have gotten as far in my healing as I have if it weren't for him. He and Camo are the most important people in my life. Without them, I don't even want to think about where I would be right now.

The Leader sits in his jail cell, staring at the wall. He's been in prison for five years. He has some friends that he talks to regularly, but most of the inmates find him insufferable and creepy. With those friends, he's been successful at teaching them his ways, using redemption as a way to lure them into his way of thinking. He counts on the inmates' guilt as a way to control them. Sadly, jail has not changed The Leader at all, he is still the same manipulative person he always was.

Petunia and Abilene have been irreparably damaged by their time in The Compound. They are now both residents of the Silicon Shores Psychiatric Ward. It is often that they get in trouble for trying to preach to the other residents, although it's not easy to convince anyone of anything since technically they are all crazy people just spewing crazy talk. Abilene on many occasions has tried to avoid taking her medicine and has gotten shock therapy some days. Petunia and Abilene sit together by the piano in the commons area, as it is the only time they can socialize with each other since they were given separate rooms. Their deprogramming class has not gone well for the instructors since both Petunia and Abilene refuse to acknowledge that they have been brainwashed. It is not likely they will be leaving the psych ward at any point.

In a cabin in the woods, on the outskirts of town, Barry and Zinfandel reside together. Barry is trying to get The Leader's teachings out into the world again because he and Zinfandel strongly believe in what they were taught. On the day of the raid, Barry took Zinfandel into a secret room containing a tunnel that led to the outside, far away from the television cameras and the helicopter, which couldn't see through the thick trees. From there they found an abandoned cabin, which they quickly fixed up as their new community location. A few people have already joined, enjoying the company they can get when the wilderness gets a little lonely. Some campers have even sporadically attended the free food they give some days of the week.

Barry sits at a desk to compose a letter, while Zinfandel is reading a book.

Dear Mr. Leader,

Greetings from Barry and Zinfandel. We were the only two who managed to escape the raid the day you were arrested. We have a cabin in the woods where we have started up your teachings again. Both of us still really believe in your goodness. I just wanted to write to you to let you know we are okay and that your mission is still going strong. In a few years if you are eligible for probation, we would love to have you come join us.

Forever your faithful servants,
Barry and Zinfandel


  1. Damn. LOL The first paragraph was awesome. I liked how an undercover officer went in and found out about what's really been going on at the Compound, even despite what he had to go through to get the information :(

    Weeeeeeeee the leader is locked up! *dances around throwing flowers* LOL

    Awww, I'm so happy for Camo and Titanium, I'm glad that they can finally be happy :D

    LOL @ Petunia and Abilene, being all crazy still and not getting that they were brainwashed. It is kinda sad that they can't realize it, though, it really makes you wonder how someone can dig so deep into someone's brain to completely take them over and making them believe the same things they want them to believe.

    Ick.. Berry and Zinfandel.. Berry gives me the creeps. He's such a weirdo, idk what it is about him. Maybe it's also because I hate him for what he did to Titanium. >:[

    Great finale! Though I'm sad to see them go, it's wonderful to finally see them be able to live out their lives and be happy :D

    1. Hii! Haha, yeah, Verona's brother got suspicious when the four of them requested a restraining order against The Leader, so he did some research and got an undercover operation going. The things officers have to go through sometimes... =( sadness, but he'll be okay, and he's not brainwashed.

      Heh heh, The Leader's wearing orange now... just what he deserves. I loved writing that most inmates were creeped out by him. LOL.

      Camo and Titanium are partying it up! XD

      Petunia and Abilene are the sad cases of people who literally stay brainwashed forever because they're just that fucked up. It usually happens to people who didn't have much of a personality before they got brainwashed. They latch on to what they're told and since they have nothing to fall back on, they just stick to what they're told.

      Barry... I dislike him as well, he is not a nice person. He does things out of selfishness and kisses people's asses. He stands for nothing and blindly follows until it no longer suits him. Yeah he was such an asshole to Titanium, but sadly, some people fall out of the system and get away with shit.

      Thanks so much for reading and always commenting! I really appreciate your loyalty, and hope you'll join me for the story that will come after this one! =) *hugs*

  2. ... ok let's just hope that the officer checking the mail for Lexington will do his or her job and add this letter from Barry to the inmate file, cause if this happens- FORGET ABOUT PROBATION SUCKER *lol*

    This was an awesome end to an awesome story lateknight. I especially like it because it is not the "witch dead, happily ever after bla bla" version ^^

    1. I know right? Creepiest fucking letter EVER. Hahahaha.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support through this whole story, anna. Also, thanks so much for being a regular commenter. I appreciate it. =) Haha, I too don't like the perfectly wrapped up everything's happy and psssssh loll versions. I mean sometimes it happens, but this story wasn't going to be one of those. >:D

  3. Hi! Sorry it took me so long to comment. I needed some time to think about all the things I wanted to say. First of all, on to comment the chapter...

    I loved how you wrapped everything up. I'm so happy that The Leader is now locked in prison, and also that the other inmates can't stand him, hehe, serves him right!

    Poor Titanium, still thinking he's eventually going to come after him and Camo :-(. I guess he needs more time to heal and leave his past behind him, poor boy!

    Petunia and Abilene... I feel sorry for them, it's so sad their minds are messed up to that point. Denial must be one of the most difficult psychological issues to overcome. It's really, really disheartening :-(.

    Now, Barry and Zinfandel... those two are so creepy! They scare the hell out of me, living in that godforsaking cabin trying to lure more people into their weird little world of insanity, and waiting for their leader to come out of jail... Super creepy! That last scene reminded me of this TV series, "The Following", by the way.


    Okay, and now... I can't even begin to tell you how much I've loved your story <3. It's insightful, and honest, and really well written. The idea of telling the story through a series of interviews was really great, I liked that.

    I really appreciate that you've made your characters well developed but lovable, proving that people that are esentially good can also become interesting characters (hope that made sense). In fact this story needed some characters one could easily relate to, and the four of them are wonderful. Camo and Verona, Titanium and Absolon...

    I also loved how your broached the subject of homosexuality, the fact that it was never highlighted, but dealt with in such a natural way.

    All in all, I've loved your story, I have the feeling I know you a little through it. And I have to tell you, it takes an awesome person to write it. So THANK YOU for sharing this story with us, and I most sincerely hope you too had your own happy ending.

    Lots of hugs :-D.

    *runs excitedly to check out "Blink of en Eye"*

    1. Ugh. Marsar, I'm blushing right now, and a little happy teary eyed. *hugs* LOL.

      Hehe, The Leader got what his manipulative ass deserved, a jail sentence, and his fellow inmates being wierded out by him. XD

      Yes... Titanium will be okay eventually, he has his boyfriend and best friend by his side. I can assure you they will all be happy forever. Hahaha. *warm fuzzies*

      Petunia and Abilene are cases of what cults can do to weak personalities. People with weak personalities, also known as they don't know who they were before they joined, will latch on to what their last place of belonging was. When it's taken away, they continue to hold on for dear life because they had nothing to fall back on.

      Barry and Zinfandel... they're lost. Zinfandel more so than Barry. She's an example of a blind follower, it's all she's ever known, and she's in so deep, convinced herself things were true because no one has ever told her otherwise. Barry though, Barry is just... he knows what he's doing, and he wants the control. He always listened to The Leader because he wanted to be the one who was trusted. Now that The Leader is in jail, and Barry knows The Leader trusts him, he is looking to become the substitute until/if The Leader ever gets out of jail.

      EEE! Hahhaa, The Following was the television show that inspired me to get brave enough to write this story. =) I had the personal experience, but I was unsure how many people would actually care about the subject. Then I watched that show and loved the crap out of it, so I thought I'd finally write this story down.

      I'm so happy you liked the format of this story. I thought about it and wrote lots of drafts before I nailed down the most complicated style I ever could have imagined. LOL. First and third person, and flashbacks, and time jumps. O_O I'm happy it came across to you so well.

      Character development is one of my favorite things to do in a story. Like you said, it comes across as honest, and it makes readers able to love the characters more. I enjoy getting into the mind of a character when I'm writing them because I know it adds a sense of realism to their personality. Camo, Titanium, Verona, and Absolon, all of them have bits of my personality divided amongst them, along with extra bits of things I made up, of course.

      "proving that people that are esentially good can also become interesting characters (hope that made sense)."
      LOL, you mean like Petunia, Abilene, and Zinfandel? They're deep down nice people who have been led down the wrong path? :D

      Haha, the homosexuality thing, yes. I had seen that a lot of shows were introducing characters who were of that orientation, but I felt like they were always dealing with the same issues. Either they are that way, and their parents don't like it, or they just found out they were, so their marriage ends. I became curious about the topic and challenged myself to write a character who was homosexual without touching on the "coming out of the closet" cliche. I am so happy because your comment shows I was successful.

      I did have my own happy ending, thanks. This story has been a very healing process for me. Obviously, I still have my crazy days LOL, usually when something triggers one of the memories and ways that I used to think. I always get out of it though, I had a strong personality before I joined, so that will always come pushing through to knock me back to reality.

      Marsar, I really appreciate you reading this, and leaving me so many wonderful comments. Thanks so much for your support of this story. See you on the next one! =D

    2. I've been watching "The Following" on and off because that show seriously creeps me out!

      "you mean like Petunia, Abilene, and Zinfandel?" <-- I think I know what you're getting at, but actually I was thinking of the likes of Camo and Titanium. I mean, they're both esentially lovable (you want to hug them most of the time), and STILL they make for very interesting, well-rounded characters. I hope it made more sense now :-D.

      The homosexuality thing, yes, you succeeded in escaping the cliché, and I really appreciated it.

      Aww, you're welcome. And I'm glad this story helped you heal -writing usually does! *lots of hugs to you*

      PS: And you can call me Marta, by the way ;-).

    3. Hi Marta, =)

      The Following was the first show that made me jump. I don't normally get scared by movies and shows, heh, I remember one time, a friend took me to see a scary movie with her because she knew she could hang on to me when she got scared. LOL. So, when I had that reaction to The Following, plus it being about something I'd gone through, I was immediately hooked. =D

      Ohh ok, haha, yeah I was confused, admittedly, when you first said that about the lovable characters, so I thought I'd ask to clarify, LOL. I understand now, and thanks for the compliment. XD

      I'm very glad I could approach homosexuality in a nice way, in a way I think it should be portrayed. =)

      *many hugs back* LOL. I love your comments.

  4. Amazing. This was a great ending to an amazing story. I loved knowing that Camo and Titanium are happy, that even though the time they spent suffering in the compound didn't break them. They are loved and happy, and that's all anyone can ask for. :)My mind is spinning with thoughts, i'll try to calm down and write them all. LOL

    It's rare that a sims 3 story can get under your skin and leave you, sad, angry, and happy alt the same time. This story has done that. Some times i'd read a chapter and i'd be so pissed off and upset that people could treat another that way. Other times I felt hope that no matter what people can get through the worst of crap with love and support. I like Marsar who commented on it first, I liked that you included homosexuality, and it was never preachy, it just was. I may be straight, but I'm very accepting of others, and feel that people just need to do what makes them happy, cause its nobody elses business. I'm happy simply that Titanium and Abs are just happy and can

    Petunia and Abilene: Dang, that was kind of depressing. Sounds like they aren't going to get a happy ending any time soon. :(

    Barry and Zinfandel: Wow. That was creepy. Thinking about the creepy cult in the middle of the woods actually gave me chills A LOT.

    Everything was tidied up very nicely, and left me feeling satisfied. Endings are hard to do, but damn did you do it right girl! Sorry this was so long...

  5. Oh and of course I forget to mention the leader in Prison. Thank god. I wish some of the other inmates would beat the shit out of him. *Cough*

    1. Amandralynn... I'm happy teary eyed right now, LOL.

      I am so happy I could make people FEEL with this story. One of the things I really struggled with while I was in the cult was my emotions. They'd always be suppressed, one of the things they loved to tell me was that I needed to curb my anger because it was wrong to be angry. Over time, I just became numb and not happy. It took me a long time to rediscover that having emotions is normal. I feel like this is the basis of why my writing stirs up so many emotions in people. When I write a character, I get into their head and try to feel what they're feeling, and then write it down. I'm glad it was so effective.

      Eeee it makes me happy that I pulled off writing about homosexuality so well as a straight person. ROFL. I had seen so many shows that were including homosexual characters, but they were always dealing with the "how do I come out of the closet" issue. I challenged myself to write a character who did not have this problem. In my eyes, people are people, and people like different things, and that is what makes everyone unique. So in my eyes, Titanium was just a person who wanted to find happiness and he happened to find it in Absolon.

      Petunia and Abilene are a sad case of what happens when a cult gets hold of someone with a weak personality. They are latching on to the teachings cause they don't have a personality to fall back on, so they feel like The Compound was the only place they belonged. Abilene, especially felt like The Compound saved her after her marriage ended, so in her eyes, her home has been taken away. Petunia just didn't know who she was before she joined and felt like she was doing good while she was there, but now she feels she has no purpose.

      >:D Creepy was just was I was going for. Barry is a control freak and he loves the power that running a cult gives him. He loved to be The Leader's right hand man and now he's getting to be the substitute leader if/when The Leader ever gets out. Zinfandel is lost. She is just like Petunia and Abilene, no personality, and she is in so deep. She's a blind follower, and she'll just be there forever. >:D

      MUAHHAHAH The Leader in lockup. Victor got suspicious after Camo and Titanium came in needing that restraining order, so he sent his undercover officer in to check it out. Wooo Silicon Shores Police! LOL. The inmates... yeah, they are creeped out by him, and he's not victim material. They'd rather just stay away. Plus, The Leader knows what he has to do to remain on good behavior....

      Amandralynn, thank you so much for your support for this story, for reading it, and for always commenting. I truly appreciate it. See you on the next one. =)

  6. Fabulous ending! I have really loved this story about how Camo and Titanium escaped that insano's control.
    That note at the end, I agree with anna. That letter isn't going to help Marshall Lexington one little bit!
    Sorry this comment is so short as you deserve much longer, but I think everyone has already said what I'm thinking, and some stuff I'm not thinking.

    1. Hey mypalsim! Thanks so much for sticking with me through this story, supporting it for the whole journey, and for always commenting! =)

      LOLL, yeah the letter is creepy and the prison will most likely think so as well. Hahha, *sticks tongue out at Marshall* Na-ny-na-ny boo boo, you're stuck in there forever. Haha, he got what he deserved. MUAHAHHAAA.

      Aww thanks. =) See you on the next story.

  7. I'm glad that the Leader went to jail. But poor Zin, still so deluded, And now stuck with that asshole rapist Barry. =( Still, it's not like she was going to sudden;y see the light and reject everything she believed all her light.

    1. Yeah The Leader got what he deserved. Sadly Zinfandel is so deep in she can't even see that her situation is and always has been, a bad one.

      Thanks so much for reading this and commenting all the way through. =)

  8. Wow, just wow. That was an incredibly eye opening story! Thank you so much for writing and sharing it. You have managed to capture the true essence of love, friendship, loyalty and happiness while at the same time showing the cruelty, lust and anger of the world. This story had so many good messages and controversial themes that created one heck of a read that I have thoroughly enjoyed. So, again, Thank you :) xxxooo

    1. OMG. Thanks so much for that... :) I'm sincerely happy that this story opened your eyes to some stuff. I loved mixing so many different concepts in this story, and I am glad that it came across so well to you. You're welcome. :D

  9. You certainly have a gift... but i guess you already know it, the whole story is very inspiring, thank you!

    1. Omg, thank you so much. I am happy I was able to inspire you, and you are very welcome. Thanks so much for reading this. :)

  10. Wow great ending, great story!

    I'm so glad they put that bastard in jail but it's a shame he's still controlling people in jail.

    And the rest of the people in the shelter were and are still so brainwashed it's sad but Petunia does belong in a psych ward lol. And when you wrote about the residents assaulting the officers I was lmao, those people really need help.

    This was a sad yet happy ending...The people in The Compound were so brainwashed that when they saw freedom they didn't want it :( But at least Camo and Titanium made it out and they're happy.

    1. Aww thank you so much. :)

      Yeah, The Leader... I guess, once a crazy controlling cult leader, always a crazy controlling cult leader? ROFL. He loves power, so he wasn't about to let a change of scenery stop him from wanting to get people under his thumb. Luckily some of the inmates have a brain and they don't like him.

      Brainwashing is so powerful, it's ridiculous, that people will do such wierd crazy things because they believe something that isn't true.

      Mm-hmm, haha, I didn't want to write just a typical happy ending, I felt it would be too boring so I thought I'd throw in a mix. Ahh, but to the residents of The Compound, their freedom was being taken away because they thought that living in The Compound was true happiness. *rolls eyes at them*

      Yeah Camo and Titanium are living happiily ever after. :)

      Thanks so much for reading this and commenting all the way. *hugs*


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